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Air quality advisory lifted for Kelowna following fire

Click to play video: 'Major overnight fire destroys Kelowna commercial building' Major overnight fire destroys Kelowna commercial building
A commercial building on Highway 97 in Kelowna was gutted by fire overnight. It's not the first time that a blaze has destroyed a building at the Blue Heights complex in recent years. – Feb 15, 2022

The air quality advisory that was in place for Kelowna following a Tuesday morning fire has been lifted.

Late Wednesday morning the warning was removed. It had been in place from the time of the fire until early Wednesday.

“A large structural fire overnight and an atmospheric inversion this morning have created conditions in which emitted smoke and particulates have been trapped in the valley, near ground level,” the alert from health officials.

The overall Air Quality Health Index for the Central Okanagan sits at a two, or low risk, which is significantly lower than the seven to 10 range that Okanaganites are familiar with come wildfire season.

Read more: Fire rips through Kelowna business complex, prompts air quality advisory

 

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The fire by Blue Heights Commerical complex on Highway 97, near Leathead Road, started shortly before 2 a.m. and tore through a number of businesses.

“First arriving officer (reported) black smoke coming from the roof and soffits of the entire commercial structure. Due to an open truss design with few firestops, the fire progressed rapidly,” said Scott Clarke, platoon captain of the Kelowna Fire Department, in a press release.

“The fire was deemed as an exterior attack due to heavy fire conditions and an unstable structure. The severity was raised to a general alarm which means all available fire personnel are requested to respond, on and off duty.”

Clark said there were several occupants in one of the businesses, but they got out safely.

Staying indoors helps to reduce particulate matter exposure. Real-time air quality observations and information regarding the health effects of air pollution can be found online.

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