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Fire scorches OK Falls convenience store

A photo taken several hours after a fire sparked at the Centex service station on Main Street and 11th Avenue in OK Falls early Sunday morning.
A photo taken several hours after a fire sparked at the Centex service station on Main Street and 11th Avenue in OK Falls early Sunday morning. Wayne Rodgers/Ok Falls Daily News/Oliver Daily News

An early morning fire beside a south Okanagan gas station on Sunday led to power being cut to much of the community while crews doused the flames.

“We shut down fire [power] to make the situation safer,” said Fortis B.C. spokesperson Nicole Bogdanovic.

It was around 2:30 a.m. that power was first cut to about 900 residents in the downtown core of Okanagan Falls and the west side of Skaha Lake.

Meanwhile, members of the local volunteer fire department put out flames at the closed down convenience store beside the Centex service station on Main Street and 11th Avenue.

After Fortis restored power to those customers around 3 a.m., power to another 1,000 customers on the east side of the lake was shut down for about half an hour.

“Two lines cross that [gas station] site, so we took down one line… and then the other line was isolated… it’s just part of the process of isolating that customer from the grid and working under the direction of fire officials to ensure the situation was safe,” Bogdanovic said.

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The fire chief said the service station is open as normal on Monday.

The damage to the vacant convenience store spread from the roof to the inside of the building.

A 9-1-1 call was made around 2 a.m. and 14 firefighters responded to the scene.

No one was injured. Investigators are looking into what may have caused the overnight fire. The extent of the damage is being assessed.