UPDATE: Fire destroys West Kelowna boat storage facility | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UPDATE: Fire destroys West Kelowna boat storage facility

Fire destroyed the Gellatly Boat Storage facility in West Kelowna, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020.
December 16, 2020 - 2:51 PM

A West Kelowna boat storage facility has been completely gutted by a fire.

West Kelowna Fire Rescue crews were on scene today, Dec. 16, at the Gellatly Boat Storage facility in West Kelowna. Residents reported heavy smoke in the area this afternoon, Dec. 16, and firefighters urged area residents to stay inside due to the air quality. That danger has now passed and the neighbourhood has returned to normal.

The fire department received a call this afternoon and when crews arrived they saw the warehouse was fully engulfed in flames, fire chief Jason Broland said.

Crews were supported by firefighters from the Lakeview and Glenrosa fire stations who fought the fire defensively from the outside because of the risk of the roof and walls collapsing.

Fire destroyed the Gellatly Boat Storage facility in West Kelowna, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020.
Fire destroyed the Gellatly Boat Storage facility in West Kelowna, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020.

The building was historically a packinghouse for the fruit industry and sat unused for many years, according to a West Kelowna Fire Rescue media release. Most recently it was used for boat storage, however it was empty when the fire started.

The building was slated for demolition today. The cause of the fire was deemed accidental and was related to the demolition activities. Workers at the site made it out safely and there were no injuries to the public or to firefighters.

An excavator was already onsite to undertake the demolition and it has been put to use to help extinguish the fire, fire rescue said. Crews and equipment will remain on scene for several hours until the fire is completely out and demolition will be completed in the coming days.

Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Cindy Lorenz

— This story was updated at 2:51 p.m. and 4:23 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020 to include additional information from West Kelowna Fire Rescue.


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