Oliver firefighters responded to an early-morning fire that destroyed a packing house. (File photo)

Oliver firefighters responded to an early-morning fire that destroyed a packing house. (File photo)

Early-morning fire destroys Okanagan packing house

Cause of fire that destroyed an Oliver packing house remains under investigation.

The cause of a fire that destroyed an Oliver-area packing house during an early-morning blaze Friday remains undetermined.

Rob Graham, of the Oliver Volunteer Fire Department, said Sunday morning the cause of the fire that destroyed East 2 West Fruit Packers located at 33207 Highway 97 is still being investigated.

“It was around one o’clock in the morning (Friday) and we had a report of a structure fire. While responding to the fire hall, one of our members who lives near the area, was able to confirm that it was a packing house on fire,” said Graham. “When we arrived on scene it was fully involved. We did have some issues with power lines in the area that had come down so that limited the access we could get at the time in certain areas of the structure until we could get the power off.”

Compounding problems for the 17 crew members was the proximity of the fire hydrants.

“Because they’re (the packing house) outside of town there are not as many hydrants as there are in town,” said Graham. “There was a hydrant nearby but it was on the other side of the highway and we didn’t want to extend a line across, so we just had the water tenders shuttling the water back and forth to the trucks on the scene.”

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He added there were actually two structures that were destroyed, estimating the larger building to be about 125 feet by 100 feet.

There was some farm machinery inside along with some “cardboard box material.”

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One firefighting crew remained at the scene until about 8 a.m. putting out hotspots.

The B.C. Ambulance Service, as well as RCMP, were also in attendance. There were no injuries reported.


 

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