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Passerby, fire department douse small hay blaze beside former tobacco barn in Kelowna

Kelowna fire crews were called to douse what was left of a small hay fire near a former tobacco barn in Kelowna on Wednesday. Global News

The City of Kelowna came close to losing a historic structure on Wednesday.

Sometime during the noon hour, passersby noticed that a small fire had started near the old tobacco barn at the corner of Benvoulin and KLO roads.

A witness told Global News it’s believed that someone might have hit a rock while cutting grass, sparking the fire.

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That witness said he was riding his motorcycle in the area when he noticed smoke and quickly pulled over to help.

“Just tons of smoke billowing out the side of the barn,” Colin Lees told Global News, noting hay bales were burning.

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“I parked my bike near the fire and grabbed whatever I could to start beating on the fire.”

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Lees said while he was busy fighting the fire, the worker went to get water.

“I stayed and kept putting the flames as they lit while he got water to put it out,” said Lees, a longtime Kelowna resident.

The fire department arrived shortly and doused what was left of the remaining fire.

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