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Mount Law wildfire: West Kelowna residents return home, grateful to firefighters

Click to play video: 'West Kelowna residents return home grateful to Mount Law firefighters for saving their homes' West Kelowna residents return home grateful to Mount Law firefighters for saving their homes
West Kelowna residents return home grateful to Mount Law firefighters for saving their homes – Aug 18, 2021

Lonnie Fitzpatrick and his neighbour were allowed back into their homes for minutes on Wednesday morning, despite their homes still being under an evacuation order.

Fitzpatrick was able to retrieve security camera footage which showed just how close the Mount Law wildfire was on Sunday night to burning down his home on Gates Road West.

The incredible footage shows the fire burning down the mountain into Fitzpatrick’s backyard while several firefighters hose down his home.

Miraculously, four days later, Fitzpatrick’s home is still standing.

Read more: Crews making progress on Mount Law wildfire, say officials

“I would like to thank all the firefighters who worked so hard all night to save our house and our neighbours’ houses,” Fitzpatrick told Global News.

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Also arriving home for the first time since Sunday was Katherine Gray, who has a house on Emerald Road, above Fitzpatrick’s home.

“I literally thought that there wouldn’t be a house left on this street,” said Gray, who was immensely relieved to find her home untouched.

Click to play video: 'One family home destroyed in West Kelowna in Mt. Law wildfire' One family home destroyed in West Kelowna in Mt. Law wildfire
One family home destroyed in West Kelowna in Mt. Law wildfire – Aug 17, 2021

“It burned right up to the bottom of our fence line,” said Gray.

However, it didn’t burn into her yard.

Naturally, Gray shared in the community’s gratitude towards firefighters who battled the blaze.

“I am so thankful for them, so thankful for them,” Gray said with a smile on her face.

West Kelowna mayor Gord Milsom was given a tour of fire on Wednesday. He also echoed that sentiment.

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“I am so grateful to our fire department and to all those to helped,” Milsom told Global News. “It could have been a lot worse.”

Click to play video: 'Some structural damage reported after wildfire in West Kelowna, B.C., grows 800 hectares overnight' Some structural damage reported after wildfire in West Kelowna, B.C., grows 800 hectares overnight
Some structural damage reported after wildfire in West Kelowna, B.C., grows 800 hectares overnight – Aug 16, 2021

“I thought Sunday night, we were going to lose part of our community,” said West Kelowna fire chief Jason Brolund.

Brolund credits firefighting resources from neighbouring communities, as well as the BC Wildfire Service for helping contain the damage to one house and an out-building.

“We feel horrible about the house that was lost; we are very fortunate to have the outcome we did,” said Brolund.

Seventeen homes still remain under an evacuation order, as the 800-hectare Mount Law wildfire is still classified as out of control.

Click to play video: 'Mount Law wildfire prompts hundreds to flee their homes Sunday night' Mount Law wildfire prompts hundreds to flee their homes Sunday night
Mount Law wildfire prompts hundreds to flee their homes Sunday night – Aug 16, 2021

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