Fire guts Vernon building

A vacant business on Kalamalka Lake Road was gutted Sunday night in Vernon.

Deputy Chief of Operations for Vernon Fire Services, Jack Blair says crews were called to a building fire at 1201 Kalamalka Lake Road at 11:30 p.m.

“A call came in from bystanders in the area who reported heavy flames coming from the roof of a vacant building,” said Blair, “We responded and upon arrival flames were coming right through the roof.”

He says the building, a one-storey brick block building, was vacant, but was being used by the owner to store various furniture pieces for rental properties they own.

“The guys went into defensive mode because the fire was right through the roof and it collapsed as soon as they got there,” said Blair.

“They began extinguishment and protected any exposures on either side; fortunately there weren’t any other commercial buildings close to it.”

He says crews were able to work fast and suppress the fire in a ‘timely fashion.’

Firefighters then conducted a complete overhaul to make sure there was no one in the building.

“There have been reports of transients that had been in and out of the building,” said Blair who confirmed no one was found inside. “So at this time we are investigating for the cause and Fire Investigator Captain Dean Wakefield is on the scene.”

Blair says the extensive damage will slow the process.

“It will take quite some time to determine exactly what it (the cause) may have been, but we will look at everything from accidental to suspicious.”

From the original call to putting out flames and conducting final extinguishment crews were on the scene for approximately four hours.

It is unknown at this time if the owner had insurance. 

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Mindy Crawford


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