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Barbecue not considered cause in Middleton Mountain town home fire

Officials are confident a barbecue did not spark a fire that damaged two Middleton Mountain townhome units Saturday.

There has been some public speculation that the blaze, which started at about 7:30 p.m. on Mt. Revelstoke Place, was caused by a barbecue on a deck.

"It hasn't been ruled out but the barbecue was not used that day," said Jack Blair, a Vernon deputy fire chief.

"The natural gas barbecue was disconnected earlier in the day to clean the deck off. It's not known if the barbecue was reconnected before the fire."

The fire is not considered suspicious and the investigation will continue Monday.

"There's so much fire damage and it's very unsafe," said Blair.

"There are huge holes in the deck and there's a 30-foot drop."

Two units sustained widespread damage while the siding on another unit was melted and there's smoke damage in a fourth unit.

From the deck, the flames spread into the attic of one of the units.

"There's  raw wood and a confined space and that generates heat," said Blair.

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SATURDAY - Fire forced some Vernon residents from their homes Saturday night.

At about 7:30 p.m., Vernon firefighters were called to Hawk's Landing on Mt. Revelstoke Place. Upon arrival, two townhome units were fully involved and a third unit was being threatened.

"We've been able to stop it at unit nine," said Reinhard Mann, a Vernon Fire Department captain.

Significant damage has been done to the first two units, and the flames and smoke could be seen throughout Middleton Mountain. It's not known how much damage, if any, has been done to the third unit and intense heat also melted the siding on an additional unit.

Five firefighters were part of the initial response and about 25 firefighters in total were on scene.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

"There was a report of a fire on a balcony but no one was barbecuing," said Mann.

Emergency Social Services is providing assistance to the occupants of three units.

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