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Smoke detectors in bedrooms strongly recommended after close call at Kelowna apartment building

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A Kelowna, B.C., man is considered lucky after a fire broke out in his bedroom while he was sleeping.

“Extremely lucky,” said Kyle Jacobson, a public educator with the Kelowna Fire Department.

The fire started in the bedroom of a second-storey unit at the Bristol Apartments on Franklyn Road early Wednesday morning.

Read more: One injured in Kelowna, B.C. apartment fire

The tenant managed to wake up and flee for safety but not before sustaining injuries to his face and hands.

“The resident sustained second-degree burns,” Jacobson said.

According to the Kelowna Fire Department, the man spent several days in hospital before being released.

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There was no smoke detector inside the bedroom because the building code of the day did not require the devices be installed in bedrooms in buildings constructed prior to 2012.

“There’ll be smoke detectors in the hallway, outside the bedrooms, as well as there are heat detectors in the hallways and stairwell,” Jacobson said. “Not in the bedroom.”

While not required, the fire department is finalizing a report that will recommend smoke detectors be installed in all the bedrooms of the 52-unit building after last week’s close call.

The building’s owner told Global News he’s prepared to act on the recommendation.

“For the health and safety of all of our tenants, we will follow the recommendations of the fire department,” said Kamal Shoranick.

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Read more: One person dead, 70 displaced after seniors’ complex gutted by fire in North Vancouver

Jacobson said he hopes the close call at the Bristol Apartments encourages everyone living in pre-2012 constructed buildings to take matters into their own hands and invest in a battery-operated smoke detector for their bedrooms.

“We’re talking about people’s lives here,” said Jacobson. “In the province of British Columbia, 60 per cent of fire deaths occurred in households where there wasn’t a working smoke alarm.”

He also took the opportunity to remind everyone to regularly check their smoke detectors to ensure they are operational.

The cause of the bedroom fire at Bristol Apartments has been deemed undetermined.

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