Police have arrested a Kelowna man in connection with the 2013 arson of Westbank Lions Community Centre.

Police confirm arrest in Westbank Lions’ Hall arson

A Kelowna man has been charged with arson relating to the 2013 fire of the Westbank Lions' Hall.

A Kelowna man has been charged with arson relating to a fire that all but razed a Westbank landmark.

Kerry Robert Cooper, 30, was charged for arson and appeared in Kelowna Provincial Court  Monday morning to face a charge  of arson – damage to property.

“He was remanded in custody, to appear next on May 13, 2014, in Kelowna Provincial Court,” said Sgt. Wade Seversen in a press release.

Rick Hebner,  past president of Westbank Lions’ club, said a representative from the RCMP called the hall manager last Friday to say there had been an arrest in the investigation into who burned down the historic Lions’ Hall.

“He told us somebody had been arrested, and that was it,” said Hebner.

“It’s nice there’s been something done about that.”

That said, Hebner pointed out that it will be more interesting to see how the courts treat Cooper.

The arrest,  of course, doesn’t make up for the inconvenience experienced by community groups since the Sept. 1 2013 blaze, that have long relied on the facility.

The District of West Kelowna used the Lion’s Hall for open houses and public meetings, while a number of service clubs used the smaller rooms for their meetings.

Several tenants were displaced, as well as the Central Okanagan School District’s alternate school and several programs of the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club.

“The rebuilding is about 50 per cent complete,” said Hebner, adding that means the exterior has been rebuilt.

Final approvals on plans are slated for some time in the future, and Hebner said all the lingering unknowns amount to little more than more questions.

“We honestly have no idea when we’ll be back,” he said. “It all depends on when the final approvals are given. There have been little bits of work here and there, but the majority of heavy labour has yet to be done.”

The fire that engulfed the Westbank Lions Community Centre started around 8 a.m. Sunday and quickly spread through the original wooden hall portion, which dates back to 1928, and the adjoining section which was added in 1980.

The entire building was renovated in 1980 when it was moved back from its original position nearer to the road and the addition was completed.

Damage was estimated somewhere in the ballpark of $1 million.


Just Posted

Late night confrontation between two men in Peachland

RCMP was called to the scene of a physcial encounter on Saturday evening where one man was injured

Kelowna hotel suffers water damage

Guests at the Royal Anne Hotel in Bernard were greeted by firefighters last night

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Hodge: You can’t make this stuff up

Kelowna columnist with a story that proves in life, it’s never too late

UPDATED: Man dies after struck by vehicle

A man died after being hit by a vehicle in West Kelowna

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

First-place Warriors edge Caps, visit ‘Backs today

West Kelowna scores twice in 25 seconds early in third to overtake Cowichan Valley in BCHL action

Grab a book; thank your librarian

All libraries are cornerstones of their communities and we celebrate them during library month

Five decades of volunteering

Even though she is approaching 70, Merle kindred continues to volunteer around the world

Twarynski trick sends Rockets past ‘Hawks

Rockets end five-game winless streak with victory Friday over Portland

Vehicle leaves scene after striking lamp post

After hitting a lamp post on Springfield Road, a vehicle has left the scene

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Most Read