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Okanagan Centre fire was arson: RCMP

RCMP say the fire that destroyed at least eight Lake Country homes last week was deliberately set.
July 26, 2017 - 12:43 PM

KELOWNA – The Okanagan Centre fire that destroyed at least eight homes and forced the evacuation of dozens of Lake Country residents was intentionally set, according to RCMP investigators.

Cpl. Dan Moskaluk made the announcement today, July 26, at a media conference saying the fire is now being considered arson.

“We have firmly concluded that this fire was intentionally set,” Moskaluk says. “We pinpointed the place of origin… that’s information we don’t divulge.”

Shortly after the fire started July 15, RCMP announced they suspected it to be human caused.

“We’re dealing with a fire… with substantial damage as a result. Financial and emotional hardship suffered by residents," Moskaluk says.

It took fire crews three days to contain the blaze at 50 hectares and all evacuation orders were lifted July 19.

Moskaluk says police want to speak to a group of people seen camping in the area and have set up a tip line to get help from the public.

"Specialized police resources and investigative techniques are being devoted to this file and we are also asking the public to remain vigilant and to report anything suspicious to police," he says.

They are also asking for any photos, video or closed circuit footage of the fire and to report anything out of the ordinary.

“It’s a horrific crime. We lost property, we haven’t had a loss of life and we’ve been very lucky at that,” Moskaluk says. 

Anyone with any information or images taken the day of fire are asked to call 250-707-8025.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2017

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