Food bank benefits from tragic fire

The coffers at the Kelowna Community Food Bank are getting an unexpected boost today thanks to the owners of Cora Restaurant.

The restaurant, situated in the Burtch Plaza, suffered some smoke and water damage as a result of an early morning blaze that destroyed four adjacent businesses.

Restaurant owner, Pam MacPhee, says while the restaurant itself was 'remarkably lucky,' they won't be able to re-open for a few weeks, meaning something has to be done with the food.

"The health inspector was here and our fridges and freezers have maintained their temperatures," MacPhee told Castanet News.

"There was no smoke access because they were sealed. That means we'll be able to make a good donation to the food bank today."

McPhee says she is thankful the restaurant is still standing, a testament to "good construction and a good firewall."

But, she did feel for her fellow business owners.

"They all worked so hard to put together businesses and we are all so proud of our businesses," an emotional MacPhee stated.

"It's our honour to employ the people we employ. You feel really bad because some people are losing their job."

While it's too early to determine when some of those most affected will be able to rebuild, MacPhee says she hopes Cora can be up and running again in about two weeks.

And, she says she knows who her first customers will be.

"When we open, we're treating the fire department to breakfast. The fire fighters worked hard to save our business. We're so thankful."

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