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VIDEO: 6 local businesses lost in Vernon fire

The North Okanagan Friendship Society was unscathed
A downtown fire in Vernon early Tuesday morning destroyed five local businesses. (Bowen Assman Photo)

Crews have begun to clean up, after a major blaze in downtown Vernon destroyed six local businesses.

According to Fire Chief David Lind, crews were called around 2:20 a.m. on Tuesday, July 4 to the 2800 block of 30th Street.

“The fire was located on the south wall, and as crews located it, they quickly determined that the fire started from outside the structure,” said Lind. “It was filled with heavy, thick smoke and they had to back out at that point and set up for a defensive attack.”

The fire is currently under investigation by Vernon RCMP and is deemed suspicious in nature.

There were no injuries, as a single occupant and a dog were able to escape. The sheer size of the fire required the services of BC Ambulance Services, City of Vernon Operations and the Armstrong Spallumcheen Fire Department.

“At the peak of the event, we had three aerial devices on the fire,” Lind said. “Along with two fire engines and 25 to 27 firefighters.”

Among the lost businesses include Vernon Centre Pawn, The Cauldron Metaphysical Shop, Eunike Consignment, Jax & King Salon, Classy Canine Grooming and The Okanagan Eatery.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help support The Okanagan Eatery, which is run by a young couple, Chelsea and David White.

“This is a big impact on the business owners in the community,” Lind explained. “You are dealing with several local businesses who add tremendous value to our community, so our hearts are definitely with these folks.”

The abutting North Okanagan Friendship Society was spared from the damage thanks to a firewall.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Vernon fire crews battling downtown blaze affecting multiple structures


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Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
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