Firefighters in Hazmat suits emerge from a storage locker in West Kelowna Thursday evening after investigating ‘suspicious’ material found inside a storage locker.—Image credit: Alistair Waters/Capital News16

UPDATE: Suspicious material causes evacuation at West Kelowna business

Firefighters and Hazmat crews respond to ‘suspicious’ material in storage locker.

UPDATE: June, 2, 1:55 p.m.

West Kelowna RCMP says after its officers, along with West Kelowna fire fighters and the Kelowna Fire Department’s Hazmat team, assessed a “substance of an unknown nature” found in a West Kelowna self-storage locker Thursday evening, it was determined the substance poses a low risk to the public.

As a result, it is is being kept in the storage locker until the best way to dispose of it is ascertained.

In a statement sent to the Capital News Friday, RCMP spokesman RCMP. Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said initial efforts to contact the renter of the storage locker in which it was found have so far proven unsuccessful.

He said the Lower Mainland RCMP Explosives Disposal Unit (EDU) was consulted after the police were called in by West Kelowna Fire Rescue Thursday night. Experts with the unit said the substance is not consistent with materials typically used to create explosives, said O’Donaghey.

An investigation is continuing to identify the substance and as are efforts to located storage locker renter.

Local police are also consulting with the RCMP’s federal Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response Team (CLEAR), as well as experts of RAM Environmental Response.

The RCMP will continue to work with the owners of National Storage on Westlake Road, where the substance was discovered, in an effort to provide guidance as to how to properly disposal of it, added O’Donaghey.

UPDATE: June 1, 6:20 p.m.

Emergency crews were in West Kelowna Thursday evening for a situation with hazardous material.

After a Hazmat team entered a West Kelowna storage unit, located the material and took video of it, West Kelowna fire fighters have determined they need the assistance of the RCMP, says West Kelowna fire chief Jason Brolund.

He says the police have been called in and the material is still in the storage locker. After talking to the Hazmat crew, Brolund said it was determined it is safe where it is for now and there is no immediate danger to the public. The building, however, remains evacuated.

Brolund said he expects he and his fire fighters will remain on scene for a few more hours while they wait for the police to arrive and then to assist the officers.

He said he expects either his department or the RCMP will issue a statement either later tonight or in the morning.

Brolund would not say what the material was, but said earlier after manager of the storage facility reported it, his firefighters found it had been burned and was smoking. That prompted the call for the Hazmat team.

The two Hazmat team members who entered the storage facility did not bring any material out of the building but did rinse their gloves and boots in a disinfectant solution after leaving the storage locker building.

UPDATE: 4:56 p.m.

The Hazmat team has arrived.

Original:

Emergency crews are responding to a suspicious material that was found in a storage locker at National Storage in West Kelowna around 3:30 p.m. according to West Kelowna fire chief Jason Brolund.

Part of the building has been evacuated. There are a number of units in the commercial complex.

“The materials do require further investigation… at this point we don’t know a lot about the material we’re dealing with,” said Brolund.

West Kelowna firefighters are waiting for the Kelowna Hazmat team to arrive.

The Capital News will provide updates with information as it becomes available.

 

The material was found in a storage locker at National Storage on Westlake Road.—Image credit: Alistair Waters/Capital News