UPDATE: Auto recycling shop burns in East Kelowna

Crews are on scene of a fire at Apple Valley Auto Recycling and Service on Saucier Road in East Kelowna today, Aug. 5, 2015.

KELOWNA - A fire at Apple Valley Auto Recycling and Service in East Kelowna sent billowing smoke into the already hazy sky this morning.

According to platoon captain Kelly Stephens three workers were removing a gas tank from a vehicle when the fire started at around 10 a.m. on Aug. 5. A neighbour reported hearing an explosion before seeing smoke and several small pops that sounded like explosions could be heard after crews arrived on scene.

"There was heavy, black smoke on arrival and we also had some small explosions," Stephens confirms. "We also had some power lines go down."

Roughly 500 customers were without power however Fortis B.C. crews were on scene working to restore it.

Stephens says this could have been a real disaster.

"It is a serious situation," he says. "Fortunately we were able to get on it very quickly."

The building and nine vehicles were completely destroyed however Stephens says all employees and animals are accounted for. One man was treated on the scene for minor burns but was not taken to hospital.

The power outage affects the area around Crawford Estates, Stewart Road East, Stewart Road West, June Springs Road, Bedford Road and Harvard Road.

There was no fear of an interface fire because the facility at 2270 Saucier Rd. is surrounded by fields, according to the Kelowna Fire Department. 

Credit: Google Maps

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

— This story was updated at 12:05 p.m., Aug. 5, 2015, with additional details.

— This story was updated at 2:45 p.m., Aug. 5, 2015, to include information from a Kelowna Fire Department press release.

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