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Little Shuswap Lake, B.C. to rebuild after Quaaout Lodge fire

Click to play video: 'Large fire breaks out at Quaaout Lodge and Spa near Chase, B.C.'
Large fire breaks out at Quaaout Lodge and Spa near Chase, B.C.
A large fire broke out at the Quaaout Lodge and Spa, near Chase B.C., on Sunday morning. Witnesses said the fire started around 8 a.m. and flames and black smoke could be seen shooting into the sky. – May 22, 2022

The Little Shuswap Lake band is planning to rebuild in the wake of a fire that razed the guest wing at Quaaout Lodge last weekend.

“This has been a traumatic incident for everyone involved, from our guests to our employees and especially our community members,” Kukpi7 (Chief) James Tomma of the Little Shuswap Lake Band said in a statement released Monday.

“Thankfully, and most importantly, there were no fatalities or serious injuries.”

Tomma said he wanted to personally thank Skwlax volunteer firefighters and the Chase Fire Department for their efforts in responding to the fire, and also the staff at Quaaout Lodge who, “without a second thought, ensured they got everyone safely out of harm’s way when the fire started.”

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UBC Okanagan research could help target wildfire mitigation

An investigation of the fire’s causes and the extent of the damage is underway. The band won’t speculate on the cause of the incident until the proper authorities have completed their investigation.

“Our focus right now is on the safety of our community, and doing what we can to support our guests and our employees,” said Kukpi7 Tomma. “But I can tell you we will rebuild. Quaaout Lodge is an important part of our community. It’s an engine of economic development, but also the cultural heart of the community.”

Quaaout means ‘when the sun’s rays first touch the water,’ and Tomma said there will be a new dawn for the lodge and for the community.

READ MORE: South Okanagan house fire under investigation

The band, through its Fire Department, Quaaout Lodge Management and in-house Emergency Support Services Coordinator, is working with the appropriate agencies to provide support to displaced guests and employees. The resort will remain closed while the initial investigation is completed.

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A large fire broke out at the Quaaout Lodge and Spa, near Chase B.C., on Sunday morning.

Witnesses told Global News the fire started around 8 a.m. and the first fire truck arrived on the scene approximately 25 minutes later.

Crews were able to get the fire under control by around 10:30 a.m.

The LSLB is part of the Secwépemc Nation in what is known in English as the Shuswap region of Southern British Columbia. The LSLB’s main community is located at the eastern edge of Little Shuswap Lake in an area known as Skwlax (pronounced sk-why-lax). Many of the band’s 347 members live in the region.

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