Fire destroys 6 businesses on Highway 97 in Kelowna

Fire at building on Highway 97. (Jordy Cunningham/ Capital News)Fire at building on Highway 97. (Jordy Cunningham/ Capital News)
Fire at building on Highway 97. (Jordy Cunningham/ Capital News)Fire at building on Highway 97. (Jordy Cunningham/ Capital News)
Fire at building on Highway 97. (Jordy Cunningham/ Capital News)Fire at building on Highway 97. (Jordy Cunningham/ Capital News)
Fire at building on Highway 97. (Jordy Cunningham/ Capital News)Fire at building on Highway 97. (Jordy Cunningham/ Capital News)
Fire at building on Highway 97. (Jordy Cunningham/ Capital News)Fire at building on Highway 97. (Jordy Cunningham/ Capital News)
Fire at building on Highway 97. (Jordy Cunningham/ Capital News)Fire at building on Highway 97. (Jordy Cunningham/ Capital News)
Fire at Blue Heights building.Fire at Blue Heights building.

UPDATE: 9:50 a.m.

The Kelowna Fire Department and RCMP remain on scene of a significant blaze that destroyed the Blue Heights Business Complex, Tuesday morning.

According to platoon captain Scott Clarke, crews arrived about 2 a.m. to billowing black smoke coming from the roof of 2783 Highway 97 North.

“The fire was deemed as an exterior attack due to heavy fire conditions and an unstable structure. The severity was raised to a general alarm which means all available fire personnel are requested to respond, on and off duty,” said Clarke.

The fire spread quickly causing extensive damage to the building.

Water from the firefighting efforts affected the Lexus Car Dealership on the south side of the fire building, however, a significant amount of runoff was removed using trash pumps and vacuum trucks.

“There were several occupants in one of the businesses, however, all were able to self-evacuate without injury. None of the other businesses were occupied at the time,” explained Clarke.

At this time the cause is unknown and the fire is being investigated.

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UPDATE: 7:45 a.m.

Fire crews were called to 2777 Highway 97 north just before 2 a.m.

At least six businesses were destroyed by the blaze.

According to platoon captain Scott Clarke, people were leaving the escort agency Beach Bunnies when crews arrived on the scene, early Tuesday morning.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

One man arrived on scene about 7:30 a.m. to report he had several vehicles in the building, however, the roof had collapsed onto them.

An excavator is on the way to the scene to demolish the rest of the building as its unstable.

This is the second time the Blue Heights complex has burned down.

A fire broke out in the industrial area in September 2018 in what was believed to be a medical marijuana growing facility.

The Lexus dealership next to the Blue Heights buildings was impacted by water used to fight the fire.

The dealership took to Facebook, Tuesday morning, to explain there had been some water damage that will take several days to clean up.

Lexus Kelowna Facebook.

Lexus Kelowna Facebook.

__________

Two lanes of Highway 97 are closed northbound after a large fire broke out at a business near the intersection with McCurdy Road.

The blaze started sometime early Tuesday morning at the Blue Heights building complex near the Lexus dealership.

Traffic is impacted in the area and drivers are asked to slow down as emergency crews are still on scene.

Smoke and flame can still be seen in the area.

Power is out to 12 FortisBC customers near the fire.

The Blue Heights building complex along Highway 97 is completely destroyed.

READ MORE: Problem property owned by province pesters Kelowna council


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

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