Lightning ignites Cawston garage

Lightning is being blamed for a mid afternoon garage fire on Ritchie Drive in Cawston on Tuesday, June 3.

Keremeos firefighters work to save a Cawston garage that was struck by lightning on Tuesday afternoon

Keremeos firefighters work to save a Cawston garage that was struck by lightning on Tuesday afternoon

A sudden storm brought heavy rain, thunder and lightning to the Lower Similkameen Tuesday afternoon, June 3.

Lightning is also being blamed for a mid afternoon garage fire on Ritchie Drive in Cawston. The fire broke out at approximately 2:30p.m.

“I was out working in the yard when I heard a noise like a gun going off,” said property owner Tom Owen.

“I didn’t think much about it, but when I looked around the garage a couple of minutes later, there was smoke coming out of it.”

Owen had trouble  contacting emergency services, as landlines in Cawston had also been affected by the storm. He managed to get the call out with his cell phone,  then grabbed a nearby garden hose in an attempt to quench the fire.

Keremeos and District Volunteer firefighters were on scene within minutes to find smoke emanating from the rear of the garage. Owen’s efforts slowed the fire down sufficiently to allow KDVFD firefighters to quickly gain the upper hand in containing the blaze.

No one was injured in the fire.  Keremeos RCMP and members of the B.C. Ambulance Service also attended the incident.

The storm pounded Keremeos for nearly a half hour with heavy rain. Cawston residents reported numerous nearby lightning strikes.

The storm occurred little more than a week after an early season hailstorm damaged a number of crops in the Cawston area.