British Columbia

1 dead in Kelowna house fire

One person was killed in an early morning house fire in Kelowna, B.C.

4 others flee single-family home

Fire crews confirm a resident of the home died in the fire, but did not offer more details about the victim. (David Horemans/CBC)

Fire officials in Kelowna, B.C., confirm one person has died in an early morning house fire.

The fire started at around 4 a.m. PT at a single family home on Springfield Avenue in the city's Rutland neighbourhood, according to fire officials.

"That fire was quite involved. There were people at home and there has been a fatality," said Tim Light, platoon captain with the Kelowna Fire Department.

"I'm not sure if the body was taken out in a rescue or whether it was found after."

He said he believes the fire may have started outside, but the official cause is still unknown. 

RCMP Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey said the victim was a female resident of the home.

Police say a passerby was driving along Springfield Road, when he spotted the blaze and took action. Witnesses say the man pulled into the driveway and honked his horn repeatedly to alert those still believed to be sleeping inside.

"Witnesses at the scene have told police that four occupants, including a man, a woman and 2 children were observed fleeing from their home to safety," said O'Donaghey.

"Investigators believe that the woman re-entered the residence for an unconfirmed reason. Tragically she was not seen re-exiting the home."

An investigation is now underway with assistance from the RCMP and the B.C. Coroners Service. 

RCMP Victim Services is helping the family and providing emotional support, said O'Donaghey.

Three separate fires Tuesday

The house fire was one of three fires that crews responded to Tuesday morning.

A fire at the now vacant former CHBC building on Leon Avenue was reported as a smoldering fire in a studio ceiling.

A separate fire was on the second floor of a commercial building on Highway 97. 

Light said both of those fires were caught in the early stages and damage was kept to a minimum with no injuries reported.

With files from CBC's Brady Strachan