The grist mill is located at 2136 Leckie Place in Kelowna, B.C. (Photo - Jen Zielinksi)

Kelowna’s historic grist mill goes up in flames overnight

The Kelowna Fire Department and RCMP remain on scene

One of the buildings at Kelowna’s historic grist mill went up in flames overnight.

Crews arrived to Brent’s Grist Mill at 3 a.m. on Wednesday to find the Fleming House engulfed in flames. Damage to the structure was significant.

“The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. We are on scene today and investigating a possible cause but we believe the building will be a total loss,” said fire chief Travis Whiting.

The site was secured by a chain-link fence and the gate was locked when fire crews arrived. The city has enhanced security patrols at the site.

“It’s very disappointing to lose a heritage structure, particularly after so much work has gone into moving the Fleming House to a new location and rehabilitating the building,” said Derek Edstrom, the city’s divisional director of partnerships and investments.

“We will continue to focus on the heritage elements of the remaining grist mill as we look to adaptive reuse of the site to capture the historical importance of the structure on early settlers’ lives.”

The Kelowna Fire Department and RCMP are continuing to investigate the cause of the fire.

The Brent’s Grist Mill building is one of three structures (farmhouse, milk house and cairn) that were relocated to the site in 2002 and were designated for protection by city council in 2004. The three heritage buildings are listed on the municipal heritage registry as well as the provincial and national heritage registers.

The Brent’s Grist Mill is the oldest surviving purpose-built grist mill structure in Western Canada and represents one of the first industrial enterprises in the Okanagan. The mill was built in 1871 using hewn post and beams, sawn joists and vertical plank exterior boards and battens.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Family safe after Rutland home gutted by early morning fire

READ MORE: RCMP launch investigation following alleged attack on Tiny House Warriors camp


Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com
Follow me on Twitter

Heritage

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COLUMN: Books come back with curbside pickup

Okanagan Regional Library begins first phase of reopening process

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Golden police seek Good Samaritan after house fire

An unidentified individual may have saved lives in the early-morning fire.

Revelstoke lawyer uses her good fortune to help others

For Melissa Klages, lawyer and owner of Arrow Law Corporation, being a… Continue reading

Revelstoke maternity team keeps mom grounded during COVID-19

Melyssa Hudson gave birth to her second child April 29

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Power knocked out for 1,700 Lake Country residents

BC Hydro crews on scene to restore the outage

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

Truck thief runs out of gas in North Okanagan

Pickup stolen from Coldstream, found not far away

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

Okanagan film society screening for scholarships

North Okanagan students pursuing creative arts can apply for $2,000 bursaries

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

Most Read