UPDATE 10 p.m.
Damage assessment is underway, but it appears to be limited to the auxiliary gymnasium area and part of the atrium of the school.
The Lake Country Fire Department got the first 911 call about the fire around 5:45 on Wednesday evening.
Personnel and apparatus from all three fire halls responded to the scene.
“When they came on scene, around the back of the school, the gymnasium is sort of attached and pushes out the back and there’s some washrooms and storage rooms built off the back of the gymnasium. So we found a fire in the roof structure and in the wall,” explains Fire Chief Darren Lee.
“We don’t have a cause or anything yet, but it looked like there was a fair amount of maintenance going on today. Work on the HVAC system and on the roof,” he adds.
Lee says there is some smoke and water damage in the atrium and in the gym.
“The timing is kind of tough because they’re right in the middle of their heavy maintenance and stuff like that. So they just refinished the gym floor and we were working over top of that.
“In the actual change rooms and the storage room, there’s pretty heavy smoke damage and a fair amount of fire damage in there,” said Lee, who took over as fire chief just a couple of months ago.
UPDATE 8:05 p.m.
The fire is now out and crews are demobilizing. Firefighters have so far been unable to comment.
ORIGINAL 7:05 p.m.
The Lake Country Fire Department is on the scene of a fire at George Elliot Secondary School.
Central Okanagan Public Schools sent out a statement at 6:55 p.m. saying that the fire is limited to the roof and exterior wall of the auxiliary gymnasium, outside the girl’s change room.
The statement says SD23 anticipates that the fire department will have the fire under control soon.
“We will work with the fire department to mitigate the limited damage to the school and expect that this event will not affect the return to school in September. We will continue to work with the fire department and RCMP as they investigate the cause of the fire,” said the statement.
The first day of school at George Elliot Secondary is scheduled for September 6.