Power lines and a Telus outage made fighting a fire on Tuesday evening difficult for Smithers Fire Rescue.
Fire Chief Kelly Zacharias said they responded to the house fire on Alfred Avenue with 25 firefighters and five units.
“There were downed power lines in the back and power lines in the front and alley that made it difficult. Power lines were downed until BC Hydro de-energized them. So that was a ‘no go’ zone near the back of the house and that was at the back where it seemed there was more damage from the fire, so it made it difficult to fight.”
He added the Telus outage at the time interfered with communications with 911 dispatch.
“People could call into the dispatch centre, but they couldn’t dispatch us out so we had to self-dispatch, but we were in communications with the dispatch centre with our cellphones and then they were able to do a workaround and we could use our radios halfway.” he added.”It got a little trying there, when you lose your dispatch.”
That outage was due to a motor vehicle incident out east that took out the line.
No injuries were sustained and the two residents that were in the house at the time got out safely.
The investigation into the cause is ongoing, but it is believed the fire started in the garage.
Meanwhile, a fundraiser has been set up to help the homeowner, Gladys Anderson. Smithers Christian Reformed Church is collecting financial donations for her. Anyone can give by going to smitherscrc.com/giving and using the drop-down menu to find her name. Donations qualify for a tax receipt as well.
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