BBQ blamed in Kelowna apartment building patio blaze

Click to play video 'BBQ blamed for Kelowna condo building blaze' BBQ blamed for Kelowna condo building blaze
"I’d say ten-foot flames, they were wrapping around our deck. Then the propane tank exploded." – Nov 27, 2020

Emergency crews in Kelowna rushed to a patio fire on Friday morning that was sparked by a barbecue.

The Kelowna Fire Department said it was alerted to the fire around 10 a.m., with crews rushing to an apartment complex along the 3800 block of Gordon Drive.

Ben Fuller, an upstairs neighbour, first noticed the fire with dark smoke rising outside of his window.

He then sprang into action, gathering his wife and some belongings outside. He then heard his neighbour’s dogs barking from within the condo that was quickly catching fire.

“I started hurling my body against the window trying to break it. And those things are strong, so I dropped kick it a few times; it didn’t break,” said Fuller.

Fuller said he then ran to his truck, grabbed a sledgehammer and began breaking in a window to rescue the dogs.

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“I was starting to get into the condo when the fire department showed up. They went in and rescued the dogs.” said Fuller.

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Flames and smoke were visible from a corner unit on the first floor, with crews quickly extinguishing the fire.

“The fire was the result of a barbecue,” said the fire department.

The residence sustained smoke and water damage, with fire damaging the deck. The patio door was also damaged from the fire’s heat.

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According to the fire department, no one was home at the time, and the unit will be uninhabitable until restoration work is done.

Firefighters removed two dogs from the home, with the fire department noting that Fuller suffered cuts to his hand while trying to rescue the dogs. He was treated at the scene.

“Good on him for looking after the dogs. Obviously, it can be dangerous and you’re taking a chance when doing these types of things,” said Platoon Captain John Kelly.

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In all, four fire trucks, a ladder truck and 18 personnel were on the scene.

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