Flare up at auto recycler

UPDATE AUG. 6 11:00 A.M. 

A small spot fire was reported Thursday morning at the Apple Valley Auto Recycling and Service following a destructive fire Wednesday.

Kelowna fire officials attended and quickly put out the spot fire that reportedly reignited near the former bathroom area.

The entire structure and business was destroyed on Wednesday when a suspected spark from an electric drill ignited a gas tank.

Everyone managed to get out safely at that time, although one man suffered what are believed to be first-degree burns to the top of his hands and some singeing to his hair.

UPDATE AUG. 5 3:30 P.M.

FortisBC restored power to all customers affected by the fire at about 3 p.m. this afternoon.

UPDATE: 12:30 p.m.

All roads affected by the fire on Saucier have been reopened. Power has not been restored to the area, however.


A spark from an electric drill is believed to have caused a fire that destroyed an auto recycling business on Saucier Road Wednesday morning.

Platoon Capt. Kelly Stephens of the Kelowna Fire Department said it is believed employees were using an electric drill to remove a gas tank from a vehicle.

He said sparks from the drill started the fire.

"There was a fire when they were working on the gas tank of a vehicle, which they do quite often. Unfortunately, they tried to hit it with some dry chem extinguishers, and it just exploded into a huge fire," said Stephens.

Everyone managed to get out safely, although Stephens said one man suffered what are believed to be first-degree burns to the top of his hands and some singeing to his hair.

The building was a complete loss.

Power to the area had to be shut off.

Stephens said there were some small explosions resulting from some of the chemicals in the building. Tires on vehicles in the yard also burst during the blaze.

Adjacent properties were not affected by the fire.

A plume of thick, black smoke could be seen from across the city.

Eyewitness video showed flames as high as 30 or 40 feet emanating from the fire.


About 500 customers in the area of Southeast Kelowna are without power as a result of this morning's fire at Apple Valley Auto Recycling and Service.

The outage impacts customers in the area around Crawford Estates, Stewart Road East, Stewart Road West, June Springs Road, Bedford Road and Harvard Road.

Crews are currently working to restore power to the majority of these customers. Customers immediately around the fire will experience a longer outage; crews will restore power to these customers once power can be safely restored and as directed by emergency crews onsite.

Also, RCMP advise of the following road closures.

  • Saucier Road and Rifle Road
  • Saucier Road and Wallace Hill Road
  • Saucier Road north of Wallace Hill Road.

UPDATE 10:50 A.M.

Neighbours around the area of a fire at an auto recycling business in East Kelowna reported hearing a loud explosion before fire engulfed the building.

Castanet reporters on the scene said there have been no injuries reported as a result of the fire at Apple Valley Auto Recycling and Service.

Neighbours in the area are saying fire also extended to some vehicles parked in front of the building. Reporters have been able to detect a distinct smell of burning rubber.

Thick plumes of black smoke visible from around the city have been replaced with a light grey smoke.

Firefighters were able to save several nearby trailers and farm animals.

More details to come.

                                                                                                                                 – with files from Carmen Weld

Multiple firehalls have responded to the scene of a structure fire on Saucier Road in East Kelowna.

The fire broke out at Apple Valley Auto Recycling and Service shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Fire crews are reporting multiple vehicles in front of the business are also on fire. Hydro lines are also said to be down.

Plumes of thick, black smoke can be seen from throughout Kelowna and the Westside.

Castanet has reporters heading to the scene. We'll have more details when they become available.

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