May 14, 2014 - 8:50 AM
WEST KELOWNA - A man will answer to the charge of arson for the fire that severely damaged the Westbank Lions Hall Sept. 1, 2013.
Kerry Robert Cooper, 30, of Kelowna appeared in Kelowna Provincial Court May 12. He was remanded in custody to appear again May 13.
The building, located at 2466 Main St. in West Kelowna was used for weddings, banquets and various community events. It housed an alternative school and the Boys and Girls Club also used the hall.
At the time of the fire, District of West Kelowna mayor Doug Findlater said the fire would have a huge impact on the community.
“Anytime time there is a significant public event… there are funerals held there, there are weddings held there, there are anniversaries held there,” Findlater said.
It took investigators a couple days to figure out the fire was suspicious. It was initially believed the damage was too extensive to restore the building, but by mid November, Westbank Lions club president Wayne Atkinson was ready to announce the heritage building, built in the 1930’s, would be completely repaired and continue to serve residents of West Kelowna for years to come.
Fire Investigators, insurance adjusters, restoration experts and structural engineers were called upon to look at the remains of Westbank Lion's Community Centre following the blaze Sept. 1, 2013.
(MARSHALL JONES /InfoTel Multimedia)
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014