UPDATE 5:40 p.m.
Vernon fire rescue crews have now cleared the scene of an early-afternoon vehicle fire at a downtown parkade that filled the surrounding area with heavy smoke
Following an initial investigation, fire crews said that three vehicles have been lost to fire and several others have sustained damage; however, the total extent of the damage remains unknown.
Bylaw Compliance officials are assisting members of the public with retrieving their vehicles now that all levels of the parkade are back open to the public.
Once this is complete, the City of Vernon said the parkade will be closed until further notice to allow for an assessment of the structure to be done and an investigation will be underway.
The fire does not appear to be suspicious and there are no reports of injury. Vernon Fire Rescue Services and the City of Vernon thank everyone for their patience and understanding.
UPDATE 5:25 p.m.
All floors of the downtown Vernon parkade were reopened as of 4:45 p.m. following a car fire on the third floor of the structure.
The City of Vernon says no further information is available at this time regarding the cause of fire or total extent of damage.
A fire investigation will be launched into the incident, which damaged at least three vehicles.
The Mini Cooper that burned was destroyed in the fire, the cause of which remains unknown.
UPDATE 4:34 p.m.
Emergency crews are still assessing and securing the scene of a vehicle fire at the parkade in downtown Vernon.
Officials on the scene have confirmed vehicle owners who parked on Levels 1 and 2 of the parkade may now access their vehicles.
Level 3 and the roof of the parkade remain closed at this time.
At approximately 3:05 p.m. Friday, Vernon Fire Rescue Services (VFRS) was dispatched to a report of a vehicle fire inside the parkade, in the 3000-block of 31st Avenue.
Smoke from the fire was visible in the surrounding area.
Upon arrival, firefighters confirmed a vehicle was on fire on the third floor of the parkade. Initial crews on scene worked quickly to extinguish fire and ensure there was no extension to the building.
All offices within the building were evacuated and no injuries have been reported. The cause of fire and total extent of damage is unknown at this time.
The parkade is closed to the public for the time being, but emergency crews are working to assess and secure the scene as quickly as reasonably possible. The public is asked to please stay away from the area so emergency crews have easier access to the scene.
ORIGINAL 3:20 p.m.
Smoke is pouring from the parkade in downtown Vernon as a car is on fire inside the structure.
Vernon Fire Rescue Services has responded to the scene.
The call came in at 3 p.m. Friday.
It's not known at this time if more than one vehicle is involved or how the fire started.
Witnesses tell Castanet a vehicle was fully engulfed in flames on the third floor of the concrete structure.
Castanet has reached out to the City of Vernon for more information.