Columbia Valley Pioneer staff

A family including two dogs escaped a structure fire in Fairmont early this morning.

Firefighters observed a significant amount of smoke coming from the home (a duplex) where a chimney fire had extended into the attic space.

“The extremely hard work of the responders on scene prevented the fire from progressing and saved the home with little damage,” said Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Service Assistant Chief Joss Advocaat. “Two occupants and their two dogs evacuated the building and are safe,” he added.

Fire crews from the Fairmont Fire Department responded to the call along with members from the Windermere Fire Department with their ladder truck. RCMP, BC Ambulance Service and BC Hydro also provided support.

The fire is not considered suspicious, according to officials, who are reminding residents about the importance of chimney cleaning.

“We have already seen a great deal of destruction this winter due to chimney fires,” said Advocaat. “It’s important that residents keep chimneys clear of animal nests, leaves, and residue to ensure proper venting.”

Fire officials are encouraging people to have their chimneys cleaned and inspected by a qualified technician at least annually or more often with increased use.

Shown here is the suspected origin of the fire. Officials encourage residents to have their chimneys cleaned on a regular basis.
(Photo submitted)