UPDATE: Oct. 19 at 8:10 a.m.
The fire has been completely put out. The building sustained major fire damage to the exterior and roof area. The cause of the fire is suspicious and is being investigated this morning.
UPDATE: 11:25 p.m.
The structure that is ablaze in Rutland on Sunday night is listed on the City of Kelowna’s heritage registry as Sproul Farm House.
The house, located at the corner of Highway 33 and Sadler Road, is one of few residences remaining from Rutland’s early rural period. It was built in 1906.
Platoon Captain Kelly Stephens with the Kelowna Fire Department says crews found heavy fire and smoke coming from the attic when they responded just after 9 p.m. Twenty-one personnel and four trucks are currently on scene battling the blaze.
“We’re just trying to extinguish the fire, but it’s being a little stubborn,” he said. “The attic space is hard to get into and the insulation is of an older style so it’s giving us a lot more trouble than we hoped.”
Stephens says the cause of the fire remains unknown and it was vacant when crews arrived. He estimates crews will remain on scene past midnight.
Crews are still battling on scene and hot spots continue to flare up. @IAFF953 Platoon Captain Kelly Stephens says the fire is "being a little stubborn." ðŸŽ¥: @newspaperphil pic.twitter.com/8HVjsHtyJM
— Michael Rodriguez (@MichaelRdrguez) October 19, 2020
Neighbours of the building say it has been used frequently by “squatters” as of late and it’s “about time” it burned.
“I’m kind of surprised it took this long for it to catch on fire,” neighbour Rick Hutchings told the Capital News. “We kick homeless people out all the time; it’s getting a little bit extreme.”
A proposal to redevelop the site is currently making its way through city processes. The 5-storey, 90-unit mixed-use development is planned to incorporate the existing facade of the farmhouse.
More to come.
Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org