Vernon firefighters decontaminate Vancouver RCMP officers after leaving the apartment above the Kalamalka Hotel Thursday.

Vernon firefighters decontaminate Vancouver RCMP officers after leaving the apartment above the Kalamalka Hotel Thursday.

Drug lab activity discovered in downtown Vernon hotel

RCMP say all possible steps are being exercised to minimize public risk



A portion of Vernon’s 30th Avenue was shut down Thursday morning as police investigated a possible drug lab.

Officers converged on an apartment in the Kalamalka Hotel after staff alerted them of items consistent with a former laboratory Wednesday  before 11 a.m.

“It’s a slow methodical process,” said Cpl. Gerry Kovacs of the ongoing investigation.

The RCMP’s E division clandestine lab unit was notified and it was determined there were substances of concern that needed to be seized.

Once on scene Thursday, the unit closed 30th Avenue, between 30th  and 31st streets, so officers had space for their gear.

Measures were taken to ensure public safety, but Kovacs says there was no risk.

“The businesses were open,” he said, adding that pedestrian traffic also continued.

Kovacs says it’s unknown if the suite was actually used for drug production or what drug was found on scene.

“A professional chemical disposal company will handle all of the chemicals in an environmentally friendly manner.”

The room was unoccupied when the possible lab was discovered, and the previous tenant is in prison on unrelated matters.

“They are co-operating with investigators and whether they are involved or not involved is yet to be determined,” said Kovacs.