Midway Fire and Rescue attended two fires on Tuesday, June 22, logging around 230 cumulative volunteer hours in the scorching heat.
Fire Chief Michael Daloise said crews started shortly after 4:45 a.m., when a passing motorist reported a barn fire at Rock Creek Ranch, located off Highway 33, around 10 kilometres south of Westbridge.
The barn was engulfed in flames when volunteer firefighters arrived shortly thereafter. The fire had spread into a hay pile, which had to be taken apart by a mini-excavator the department borrowed from a Rock Creek man. A volunteer firefighter who’d used the excavator suggested the idea and then operated the machine, Daloise said.
The barn was lost in the fire, along with a tractor and other farming equipment. The cause of the fire is undetermined, Daloise told The Times Monday, June 28.
No people or animals were hurt in the fire, he said.
The department was called to a small fire behind McMynn’s Family Foods in Midway at around 5:45 p.m. A passerby had tipped off staff, who put out the flames by the time volunteer firefighters arrived.
Daloise said the fire was likely sparked when an electrical wire attached to the building shorted out. The fire was contained well before it could reach the store, largely because the surrounding area was well-maintained, he added. Crews remained on-scene until FortisBC began repair work at around 8 p.m.
Daloise commended volunteer firefighters for their hard work and dedication. “We were working from a quarter to five in the morning until 9 o’clock at night,” he said.