Firefighters have put out the fire that destroyed North Valley Gymnastics’ home.
“Crew members worked quickly and diligently and did a very good job of limiting this large fire,” said Deputy Fire Chief Alan Hofsink. “Unfortunately, the entire building has been lost. We now have an excavator on site to tear down the parts of the walls that still stood. This is done for safety and to reduce the risk of flares or hot spots.”
“The cause of the fire is not known at this time and an investigation is underway,” said Deputy Chief Hofsink. “We would like to express our sincere condolences to the owners, coaches, members and participants of the Gymnastics Club for this great loss.”
No injuries were reported.
About 20 firefighters responded on the scene along with Vernon North Okanagan RCMP, BC Ambulance Service, FortisBC and BC Hydro.
Firefighters continue to pour water on North Valley Gymnastics buildings Sunday morning, but only two exterior walls remain.
The massive fire was triggered just after 7 a.m. Sunday, and it quickly overtook the entire building. The building is believed to be a total loss now that much of the building has fallen.
An excavator is now on site, presumably to topple the remaining parts of the now smoldering building.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined by Vernon Fire Rescue.
The back of the North Valley Gymnasium building has been completely destroyed by Sunday morning’s fire.
The walls and roof on the west side of the large building that backs up the railroad tracks have fallen, leaving only a shell of the back of the gym.
Earlier Sunday, Vernon Fire Chief David Lind said the fire was too dangerous for firefighters to enter the building, and crews were focused on preventing the fire from spreading to other buildings.
Now the building appears to be totally lost as firefighters continue to hit the fire with water.
Vernon Fire Rescue has not said how they believe the fire started.
Photo: Jon Manchester
The west side of the building has been completely destroyed by Sunday’s fire.
The fire department calls Sunday morning’s fire at North Valley Gymnastics a “major structural fire.”
Vernon Fire Rescue Services was called to the large fire on 31st Street and 47th Avenue around 7:15 p.m., but the building was already “heavily involved” when crews arrived.
“At the moment, it is too dangerous for crews to enter the building, so we use a defensive strategy to keep the fire inside the individual structure,” said VFRS fire chief David Lind.
“Please stay away from the area for the safety of the crew and the public and to ensure that emergency personnel have adequate access to move around the site as needed.”
About 20 firefighters are working to control the fire, and RCMP and paramedics are also on site. No injuries have been reported at this time.
Some members of North Valley Gymnastics tell Castanet that there were no planned activities inside the building on Saturday and the last time the building was used was for a birthday party a few days ago. Lind will not say whether the fire is believed to have started inside or outside the building, and the cause is currently unknown.
The northwest corner of the large building appears to have been completely destroyed.
The fire occurs three years after North Valley Gymnastics moved into the building, after years of looking and fundraising for a large enough space.
– with files from Jon Manchester
Photo: Jon Manchester
The northwest corner of the building appears completely destroyed.
Firefighters are working to put out the large building fire at the north end of Vernon Sunday morning and hit the fire with water from their ladder car.
There are visible flames coming through the roof of the North Valley Gymnastics building on 31st Street, and the fire produces heavy smoke that can be seen all over the city.
Police have blocked the road in the area and four fire trucks are currently on the scene while crews attack the fire from three sides.
A building in an industrial area in Vernon caught fire on Sunday morning.
The North Valley Gymnastics building, at 31st Street and 47th Avenue, is on fire this morning, sending a massive plume of smoke into the sky
The black smoke can be seen through the morning mist across the city, as seen in the image below.
It is not clear at this time how the fire started.
Castanet has a reporter on his way to the scene, and more information will be added to this story as it becomes available.
Photo: Hanlie Schuch