UPDATE: Kelowna fire puts 40 people out of a job
UPDATE: Northern Lite says it will be back in business .
GM Keith Donkin says the camper manufacturer will rebuild but not at the same location.
Some 40 employees are out of a job because of the fire which, according to officials, is not considered suspicious.
The family owned business has been in operation for 25 years.
It is insured.
There were concerns about contaminants from the manufacturing plant getting washed into nearby Mill Creek.
City officials are taking water samples but a fire department spokesperson says they’re not aware of any contaminants getting into creek.
UPDATE: Kelowna fire officials say the smoke that is hanging over Kelowna from the structure fire is from fiberglass. Northern Lite makes campers. “The fiberglass that wraps on the campers gave us the most trouble,” says platoon captain, Tim Light.
“It’s no more toxic than any other structure fire.” He adds that the cause of the fire does not appear to be suspicious and that the blaze had not been completely extinguished as of 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.
KELOWNA — A thick cloud of smoke hangs over Kelowna following a major structure fire in the Sexsmith Road area.
The fire started at around 12:20 a.m. Wednesday when the Kelowna Fire Department received a direct alarm call for Northern Lite Mfg Ltd located at 322 Totem Avenue.
Firefighters noted heavy smoke coming from the exterior of the building near the building’s west side entrance that was quickly extending into the roof area.
Two dozen firefighters from five stations and one Hazmat unit responded.
“Due to the volatile nature of the fire and fuel load within, the fire soon consumed the entire roof of the structure causing a collapse,” says platoon captain, Tim Light.
“No firefighters were inside at the time of the collapse and no injuries were sustained.”
Light says the Ministry of Environment was contacted due to the proximity of a nearby creek.
“Currently our Hazmat team is mitigating any run off from the fire site and working closely with City utilities providing continuing updates to the Ministry of Environment,” says Light.
KFD will put out an update to the buildings status and fire investigation later today.