A popular grocery store in Oliver was on fire Sunday night and the blaze is being deemed suspicious.
Around 10 p.m., the owners of Global Grocers who live next door to their store at 5638 Highway 97, were alerted by a neighbour to get out because of a fire next door.
Oliver Fire crews were quickly on scene to battle the blaze, making quick exterior and interior attacks to the building.
“High winds at the time were pushing the fire towards the rest of the structure, and several building additions made access to the rest of the fire difficult,” said Oliver FD Rob Graham.
Firefighters were able to knock down the fire and prevent it from extending into the main grocery store section of the building. Firefighters were on scene for several hours battling the blaze. A crew from Osoyoos Fire was requested for mutual aid.
The fire is deemed suspicious and an investigation into a cause will be forthcoming.
“We are still processing the whole situation and we are overwhelmed by our communities and valued customers messages,” said Deepak and Riz and Aarav Gaba, owners of Global Grocers. They have another location on South Main in Penticton.
“Our brave firefighters fought this huge fire hard amid strong gusts of wind until 2 a.m. and have managed to minimize the damage and fire was contained by smart decisions made by the team to save our main business building, our bread and butter,” said Deepak. The wooden fence, our storage area and another part of structure has been burnt to the ground.”
As firefighters were battling that fire, a vehicle fire was reported in the area of School Avenue. Firefighters were quick to respond and knock the vehicle fire down before returning to the Global Grocers fire.
This fire is suspicious as well and suspected arson.
No relation between the two fires is apparent at this time.
Anyone with details of both fires is asked to contact the Oliver RCMP with information.
More to come.