Vernon fire damages gym, police investigating cause

Image Credit: Vernon Fire Rescue Services

The RCMP is now investigating the cause of a fire that spread to the roof of a Vernon gym Saturday night.

On April 25, at approximately 9:20 pm, Vernon Fire Rescue Services were dispatched to the 3400 block of 35 Avenue. Upon arrival, crews found a large juniper bush on fire on the south side of the Priest Valley Gymnasium, according to the fire department in a news release.

“By the time crews arrived, the fire had already extended to the building and was active in the roof – which is made of cedar shakes,” said deputy chief Scott Hemstad, in the release. “Firefighters quickly pulled off a line and knocked the fire down on the roof before it could extend too far into the building and then extinguished the bush below.”

Once the fire was out, crews remained on scene, pulling shingles off the corner of the gym to confirm there were no other flames or hot spots in the attic, according to the release.

Career and auxiliary firefighters, RCMP, BC Ambulance Service and BC Hydro all responded to the scene.

“Thanks to the close proximity to the fire station and the quick action of our firefighters, damage was contained to one small portion of the building,” Hemstad said, in the release. “As for the cause of the fire, it’s too early to tell where or how it began. We have turned the scene over to the RCMP, who are now investigating.”


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