Heat turned on arson files
Sep 24, 2013 / 2:51 pm
Two buildings with a significant history in the West Kelowna community destroyed by flames, and both have been deemed arson.
The Shannon Lake Golf Course clubhouse was set ablaze back in May and just a few weeks ago the Westbank Lions Hall suspiciously caught fire.
"Both fires have been deemed arson and RCMP continue to investigate," says RCMP Cst. Kris Clark.
"We are making progress on both files, but there is very little for us to offer publicly at this point."
For 25 years the Shannon Lake Golf Course clubhouse stood by the water's edge as a place for members and staff to gather, make memories and celebrate everything from a hole-in-one to a birthday.
It's left everyone wondering who would want to destroy that.
"You've got members here who spent a significant amount of their adult life enjoying the facility so emotions did run quite high," says golf club spokesman, Glen Erickson.
"And I think in some cases there are people who are still feeling the affects. They miss the clubhouse, they miss the camaraderie."
A temporary pro shop was opened after the fire and will remain even throughout the 2014 season until a new clubhouse can be built.
And, while this season did go well and the club did their best to work around the situation, it wasn't an optimal environment.
"We worked pretty hard in the off season when there's no distraction so we're ready to operate come this spring," says Erickson.
"Six weeks, eight weeks into the golf season in 2013 we had to get back into that preparation mode. That was very difficult."
Across town, a decision is still being made on whether or not to rebuild or restore the Westbank Lions Hall.
While the front portion of the building was destroyed, other parts of the hall were saved from the flames.
A restoration company remains on site and is surveying the damage.
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