Investigators from the Merritt Fire Rescue Department (MFRD) have completed their investigation and have determined that the cause of the devastating commercial structure fire on Monday June 30 which resulted in over $1M dollars in damage, to be undetermined.
After extensive examination of the scene, conducted jointly by the MFRD, RCMP and Fire Cause and Origin Investigators representing the individual Insurance Companies, evidence indicates that the fire originated on the exterior between the two commercial structures.
The age and construction of both structures, plus the significant fuel load between, contributed to the fire’s travel.
Investigators sifted through fire debris in the area of origin, but were unable to determine an ignition source - both electrical and mechanical have been ruled out as a source.
“We have taken all the necessary steps in this investigation; compiling witness statements and spent considerable time sifting through the fire scene, but without physical evidence of an igniting object we are left to rule this fire - undetermined,” says Sky McKeown, Fire Prevention Officer.
The fire, in the 2000 Block of Quilchena Avenue, forced two residents out of their apartment while several ground floor businesses in both buildings received extensive water and smoke damage.