Kelowna, B.C.’s Bankhead Store destroyed by fire Sunday morning

Click to play video: 'Fire destroys Kelowna convenience store early Sunday morning'
Fire destroys Kelowna convenience store early Sunday morning
WATCH: Emergency crews rushed to a fire at a local corner store early this morning. the blaze took over the building, leaving much of it completely destroyed. As Victoria Femia reports, the store was also home to a family who lived in the basement – Jun 4, 2023

Emergency crews responded to the Bankhead Store in Kelowna, B.C., after it went up in flames Sunday morning.

The Kelowna Fire Department (KFD) was called on scene after receiving several 911 calls for a structure fire at the store at 5:28 a.m., which is located on the corner of Bernard Avenue and Highland Drive South.

First responders arrived after receiving a call from the family living in the store’s basement. Although no injuries were reported.

“They opened a window and smelled smoke and discovered the fire,” said platoon captain Jarret Dais.

First arriving fire crews reported heavy flame at the rear of the building and smoke coming from the roof at the front. The KFD responded with five engine trucks, one ladder, one rescue, a command vehicle as well as 23 fire personnel and a safety officer.

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The attack posed a major challenge for firefighters as the flames moved up the building.

“It was more of an exterior attack versus interior. We did have a look inside but because it’s in the roof it’s not safe to send crews in so we did what we could from the outside,” Dais said.

A picture shared online of the fire at the Bankhead Store. Facebook

Due to the construction of the building, the blaze was difficult to extinguish, as they dealt with the older materials used to build the store. This forced fire crews to tear the walls of the store down.

“With tar on the roof and with the shavings, the only way you could get access to that roof is to pull that wall down and pull the ceiling out with it,” said Dais.

The building was a complete loss and the cause of the fire is still under investigation. Police have yet to determine whether or not the blaze was suspicious.


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