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Authorities investigate suspicious fire at Vernon construction site

Deputy fire chief Lawrie Skolrood (file photo)
October 17, 2014 - 10:31 AM

VERNON - Police and the fire department are investigating a suspected arson at a construction site in Vernon last night.

The fire department was dispatched around 9:50 p.m. Oct. 16 to the fire, located in a three-story building under construction in the 2700 block of 41 Avenue.

“We caught it early, it could’ve been a lot worse if it went unnoticed for any length of time,” Skolrood says.

The cool temperature and high humidity level were on the fire department’s side as they battled the fire.

Corporal Todd Bowden says officers responded around 10 p.m. and dispatched the police service dog unit. Two individuals were discovered on the property, who are believed to have been on the structure when it started to burn.

“One of them had sustained some non-life threatening injuries from jumping from the structure and is being treated in hospital,” Bowden says, adding the individual is expected to recover.

The two people are considered witnesses in the investigation. Police are also asking anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious around that time to contact the detachment.

“Indications at the scene are the fire was beyond just suspicious but in fact was deliberately set,” Bowden says. “At this point we haven’t ruled anyone or anything out.”

The RCMP forensic identification team also attended the scene. Fire investigators and police continue to investigate the file.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

—This story was updated at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 17 to include information from Cpl. Todd Bowden.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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