Vernon Fire Rescue Services battle a blaze at Banner Recreational Products on 43rd Avenue Saturday morning. The fire destroyed one boat and damaged two others.

Vernon Fire Rescue Services battle a blaze at Banner Recreational Products on 43rd Avenue Saturday morning. The fire destroyed one boat and damaged two others.

Vernon RCMP treat boat fire as suspicious

A Vernon RCMP officer noticed flames at Banner Recreational Products on 43rd Avenue at 3:10 a.m. Saturday.

A fire at a Vernon business that destroyed one boat and damaged two others is being treated as suspicious.

A Vernon RCMP officer noticed flames at Banner Recreational Products on 43rd Avenue at 3:10 a.m. Saturday.

“One boat was destroyed, a Bombardier Seadoo Utopia, and fire damage was done to two boats parked beside it,” said Vernon RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk.

The boat destroyed was estimated to be worth $20,000, while the fire-damaged boats were estimated to be worth between $6,000 and $50,000.

The vessels were parked out front of the store as part of Banner’s displays.

RCMP have no idea how the fire started.

“The boat has been sitting there all winter, it hasn’t been used, and because it hasn’t been used and goes up at that hour of the morning, it’s suspicious circumstances,” said Molendyk.

In the summer of 2014, there were more than 20 suspicious fires in Greater Vernon and Spallumcheen that were unsolved, destroying such things as pellets, apple bins, tires, boats and vehicles.

A group of three investigators worked on the suspicious fires files throughout the winter.

“Now it appears we’ve had some suspicious fires this springs in dumpsters and now the boat, so we are concerned, definitely,” said Molendyk.

Some people in the area around Banner Recreational Products were spoken to by officers after the fire.

Anybody who may have seen anything around the time of the fire is asked to call the Vernon RCMP at 250-545-7171.