UPDATE: Vernon house destroyed in blaze comes down

Vernon Fire Rescue Service firefighters watch on as heavy machinery demolishes a two-storey home built in 1901 after it was destroyed in Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)
Vernon Fire Rescue Services work to put out a structure fire in an abandoned house on Highway 97 and 39th Avenue Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)Vernon Fire Rescue Services work to put out a structure fire in an abandoned house on Highway 97 and 39th Avenue Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Vernon Fire Rescue crews battle a house fire on the corner of Highway 97 and 39th Avenue Wednesday morning. For a video of the blaze visit the Vernon Morning Star Facebook page or vernonmorningstar.com. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)Vernon Fire Rescue crews battle a house fire on the corner of Highway 97 and 39th Avenue Wednesday morning. For a video of the blaze visit the Vernon Morning Star Facebook page or vernonmorningstar.com. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Vintage Vernon BC shared an image of the house on Highway 97 and 39th Avenue taken in 1911. The photo, which was contributed by the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives shows the home 10 years after it was built. Dolly McClusky, a resident of the home, is seen standing on the porch. (Vintage Vernon BC - Facebook)Vintage Vernon BC shared an image of the house on Highway 97 and 39th Avenue taken in 1911. The photo, which was contributed by the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives shows the home 10 years after it was built. Dolly McClusky, a resident of the home, is seen standing on the porch. (Vintage Vernon BC - Facebook)
Vernon firefighters battle a house fire from multiple angles on the corner of Highway 97 and 39th Avenue Oct. 21. (City of Vernon photo)Vernon firefighters battle a house fire from multiple angles on the corner of Highway 97 and 39th Avenue Oct. 21. (City of Vernon photo)
Heavy machinery takes down the old derelict home on Highway 97 and 39th Avenue in Vernon after a Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, blaze. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)
Heavy machinery takes down the old derelict home on Highway 97 and 39th Avenue in Vernon after a Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, blaze. (Kerry Hutter - Contributed)Heavy machinery takes down the old derelict home on Highway 97 and 39th Avenue in Vernon after a Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, blaze. (Kerry Hutter - Contributed)
Heavy machinery takes down the old derelict home on Highway 97 and 39th Avenue in Vernon after a Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, blaze. (Kerry Hutter - Contributed)Heavy machinery takes down the old derelict home on Highway 97 and 39th Avenue in Vernon after a Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, blaze. (Kerry Hutter - Contributed)

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.

All lanes on Highway 97 have since reopened shortly after 3 p.m., according to AIM Roads.

The house has since been knocked down and the investigation into the cause of this morning’s fire is ongoing.

UPDATE 12:58 p.m.

Heavy machinery is taking down the historic home on Highway 97 and 39th Avenue.

The house was completely destroyed by an early morning blaze Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Highway traffic is moving well. Both southbound lanes have reopened but northbound is still down to one lane in front of the home.

No injuries have been reported at this time and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Original:

Grey smoke continues to billow from an abandoned house on Highway 97 and 39th Avenue Wednesday morning.

Vernon Fire Rescue Services are on scene Oct. 21 to extinguish the structure fire that broke out before 7:30 a.m.

“The fire is under control, but it is still burning,” City of Vernon communications director Christy Poirier said.

Firefighters have not been able to gain full access to the interior of the home, so heavy equipment is being brought in to pull portions of the building apart for better access.

Traffic is flowing well, Poirier said around 11:30 a.m. Both southbound lanes on Highway 97 have since reopened and one northbound lane is open. A small portion in the northbound lane at 39th Avenue remains blocked off while crews are still on scene.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. No injuries have been reported at this time.

Multiple fire apparatus and about 15 firefighters are on scene alongside Vernon North Okanagan RCMP, BC Ambulance Service and BC Hydro, the City of Vernon said in a statement Wednesday morning.

Vintage Vernon BC shared some historical images of the home that was built in 1901.

The home was a designated heritage property but was later deleted off the register in 2005, according to Greater Vernon Museum and Archives community engagement coordinator Gwyneth Evans.

The home had fallen in disrepair over the years.

More information to come.

READ MORE: 167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

READ MORE: LETTER: Turning Points director applauds staff after electrical fire in Vernon


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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