Kelowna's Olympia Greek Taverna fire deemed accidental | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna's Olympia Greek Taverna fire deemed accidental

October 20, 2020 - 4:10 PM

A fire that destroyed a popular Kelowna Greek restaurant has been deemed accident.

Rutland's Olympia Greek Taverna was gutted late Wednesday night, Oct. 6, and the Kelowna Fire Department battled the blaze well into the night.

Paul Johnson, fire prevention officer with the fire department said the fire started in an upper mechanical room which had an HVAC unit and it was deemed accidental, he said.

"It was at the back of the building. The HVAC unit was up on the second floor," he said. "We're definitely short a great Greek restaurant in this town."

The fire started at the back of the building and was discovered by people passing by at about 11 p.m. Oct. 6, Deputy Fire Chief Larry Hollier said after the fire. They notified staff who were inside at the time, although the restaurant was closed. They all managed to get out safely.

There was heavy smoke pouring out of the building when crews arrived and initially launched an offensive attack, meaning they went inside the restaurant. That changed when HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) units started falling through the roof trusses, he said. 

“It’s like a roller coaster of emotions. It’s quite the turmoil we’re going through right now, with all the memories inside that restaurant. From our kids growing up in the place, from our weddings being there, baptisms, everything. My dad’s last Christmas dinner we had there, there’s a lot of fond memories we’ve had in that restaurant,” said Chris Koutsantonis, co-owner of Olympia Greek Taverna, in a previous interview with iNFOnews.

READ MORE: Community rallies to support beloved Kelowna Greek restaurant destroyed by fire

Messages of support have been posted on the building's bordered-up windows.

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