Police investigating suspicious fire at Airport Inn in Lake Country

Twenty-four firefighters responded to the call around 2 a.m.

Police are investigating a suspicious fire at the Airport Inn in Lake Country that took place early Friday morning.

According to the fire department, the blaze started about 2 a.m. in one of the unoccupied wings of the building.

“Just looking at the scene we deem it highly unlikely that it was accidental at this point,” said Fire Chief Steve Windsor.

“Police are maintaining security on the site and it is considered suspicious.”

He said 24 firefighters responded to the call and knocked it down about 30 minutes later. There were no reports of any injuries.

READ MORE: Airport Inn residents begin to vacate with help from district

READ MORE: Airport Inn residents have four more days to get out

“It was confined to a unit in one of the wings and we had some damage to a couple of the adjoining units,” said Windsor.

“That wing is not being used currently so that wing was empty of people.”

The District of Lake Country recently shut down the Airport Inn and are in the process of evicting its remaining tenants due to safety violations and the lack of an occupancy permit.

Despite the legal order, Windsor said there are still several people living on the property.

“There’s work to rehouse them off the property currently going on and find them new places to go, but none of them were involved in this situation or their unit,” said Windsor.

He decline to speculate about the cause of the fire, but said the RCMP arson investigators will be on scene tomorrow to investigate.

“There’s quite a bit of damage, but a lot of those units are unoccupied because they really haven’t been used in a lot of years.”

RCMP Cst. Lesley Smith said police have secured the property.

“Although this investigation is in it’s early stages, the circumstances surrounding the fire are being considered suspicious in nature,” she said.

James White, who still lives at the property with his wife, said the fire was deliberately set.

“There are nine people here that could have been seriously hurt by this action,” said White in an email.

“It is unjust and unfair what the city is doing by taking over his property and forcing people out of there homes. Now there will be nine more homeless people on the streets, who knows maybe we can be in someone’s backyard, its gonna be a long and cold winter. I can not believe I’m Canada anymore.”

In early October the district said the Lake Country Health Planning Society was working diligently to find appropriate housing options for the remaining residents.


Paul Clarke
Assistant bureau chief, B.C. Interior South Division
Email me at paul.clarke@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘It’s been a great program’:New foreign worker requirements help Okanagan fruit industry

Biometric requirements began in late 2018, and will have long-term advantages for workers in Kelowna

Kelowna metropolitan area surges above 217,000 people: Report

Between 2018 and 2019, report said region had second highest population growth in BC

Kelowna RCMP issue 49 distracted driving, no seatbelt tickets in one afternoon

The enforcement action will continue throughout the week

Former Canadian Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin to visit Kelowna

Beverley McLachlin served as the 17th Chief Justice of Canada from 2000 to 2017

‘Share the love for your neighbourhood’: Kelowna looking for creative improvement ideas

A $1,500 grant towards a neighbourhood enhancement project is up for grabs

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Apex Mountain hosting memorial run for Brayden Kuroda

Kuroda, a Penticton native and World Cup freestyle skier, passed away Monday night at the age of 19.

Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings take spotlight in Vernon

Outlaw Country to revive classics of the Man in Black in March

Okanagan business throws bone to B.C. Alzheimer Society

T-Bone’s Fresh Meal Markets raised $11,000 for the society in December 2019

Man accused in Salmon Arm 7-Eleven fire pleads not guilty to breach of bail

Supreme Court trial will decide arson charges while Provincial Court will look at breach charge

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

Johnny Cash takes centre stage in Okanagan

Outlaw Country to revive classics of the Man in Black in March

VIDEO: Knife-wielding man arrested after barricading himself in Lower Mainland Walmart

A man had barricaded himself in the freezer section of the fish area at a Walmart in Richmond

Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

Project spending soars along with B.C.’s capital debt

Most Read