Firefighters tackle second industrial fire in Enderby

Incident fresh after volunteer firefighter's death

An early morning fire at an Enderby timber company provided the town's volunteer firefighters with the chance to rally together and put a recent tragedy behind them, the town's fire chief said Tuesday.

The fire came less than less than two weeks after the department lost one of its own in an explosion at a nearby log-home building company.

"My members here are doing their job," said Kevin Alstad. "The crew was doing their job, and without hesitation."

All 17 of the department's firefighters were dispatched to North Enderby Timber when flames roared through a planer mill building at about 3 a.m. Alstad said the building was engulfed by the time firefighters arrived.

"It was pretty much on the ground by the time we got there," he said.

At that point, the job became about stopping the fire from spreading to nearby buildings. In the end, a kiln also burned down but the flames didn't reach the main mill.

The recent tragedy is still fresh on the community's mind, said Alstad. But he's glad his firefighters pressed on and did the work without hesitation.

"They're gung ho," he said. "They always do a good job."

Daniel Botkin, 29, died Dec. 29 while battling a fire at Sperlich Log Construction. The blaze was already in mop-up when the explosion ripped through a burned shed near where the original fire erupted - a building under construction.

Botkin was killed in the blast. A second firefighter was injured and taken to hospital in Salmon Arm.

Alstad said there's nothing anyone could have done to prevent Botkin's death. He's glad his crew is able to move on and do the job they're trained to do.

When Enderby Mayor Howie Cyr heard sirens early Tuesday morning he feared the worst. He said the community couldn't handle another tragedy, be it loss of life or business.

He was relieved when he heard the blaze didn't bring Enderby Timber to a standstill and no one was hurt, said Cyr.

Cyr hoped fighting the fire would be therapeutic for the firefighters.

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