There was a substantial and very hot fire on Front Street just outside the Coalmont General Store today. Here is what it looked like at 10:52 a.m. At that point the Tulameen Fire Department was already on the way and they soon came with water and the manpower needed. Given the dry season and current forest fire situation it was a tense time for all who were gathered in the street. This could have been the end of Coalmont and everyone knew it. Our fire department however worked swiftly and efficiently to put out the 30 foot high flames and by noon the situation was well under control.
The fire was in a motorhome which has been parked on the street for some months. It was close along the fence of the CGS property and partly outside 1831 Front Street. There was nobody in it or present on the premises at the time. Both police and ambulance were also on the scene. Several people brought fire extinguishers, but realized when they saw the size of the blaze that this was not going to be something they could get close to. Residents in the Coalmont Store were ordered outside and not allowed in until the fire was out. The cause of the fire has not been determined, but police said they were treating it as suspicious.
Telephone and power wires above the fire were damaged. The telephone cable actually melted, but the power fared better. A BC Hydro worker who arrived shortly after the fire fighters were finished, said the transformer on the pole was not damaged. The pole which had some burn, also did not require replacement at this time. The worker had the power restored by 2 p.m. Telus was also alerted, but there is no word on when the telephone service will be restored to those effected.
There was some damage to trees. The nearby hedge was mostly burnt, and half the lawn at the CGS was charred. Considering the size and intensity of the blaze, the outcome was very good. It was a tense time for all Coalmont residents, and the dedicated work of our Fire Department again got everyone’s respect. As one of the fire engines was leaving, a small group standing on the street could be heard applauding. §