Fire damages part of extra gym at George Elliot Secondary School – Kelowna News

Cindy White

UPDATE 10 PM

Damage assessment is underway, but it appears to be limited to the additional gymnasium and part of the school’s atrium.

The Lake Country Fire Department received the first 911 call about the fire around 5:45 a.m. Wednesday.

Personnel and equipment from all three fire halls arrived on the scene.

“When they got to the scene, at the back of the school, the gymnasium was sort of attached and pushes out and a number of toilets and storage rooms have been built at the back of the gymnasium. So we found fire in the roof structure and in the wall,” explains Fire Chief Darren Lee.

“We don’t have a cause or anything yet, but it looked like there was quite a bit of maintenance going on today. Work on the HVAC system and on the roof,” he adds.

Lee says there is some smoke and water damage in the atrium and gym.

“The timing is kind of tough because they’re in the middle of their heavy maintenance and stuff like that. So they just refinished the gym floor and we were working on top of that.

“In the actual locker rooms and storage area, there’s some pretty heavy smoke damage and quite a bit of fire damage,” said Lee, who took over as fire chief just a few months ago.


UPDATE 8:05 PM

The fire has since been extinguished and the crew is demobilizing. The fire service has so far been unable to comment.


ORIGINAL 7:05 PM

The Lake Country Fire Department is at the site of a fire at George Elliot Secondary School.

Central Okanagan Public Schools issued a statement at 6:55 p.m. that the fire is confined to the roof and exterior wall of the additional gymnasium, outside the girl’s locker room.

The statement states that SD23 expects the fire service to have the fire under control quickly.

“We will work with the fire service to mitigate the limited damage to the school and do not expect this event to affect the return to school in September. We will continue to work with the fire service and RCMP as they investigate the cause of the fire,” the statement said.

The first day of school at George Elliot Secondary is scheduled for September 6.

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