Update 1:05 a.m
After earlier reports that the Bankhead Convenience store fire is out, smoke has continued to emanate from the building.
Fire and police services are in the area, while Bernard Ave has remained closed. Fire scene tape has been put blocking Highland Drive South.
Update 10:50 a.m.
The fire at Bankhead Convenience store is out after burning for approximately five hours.
Platoon Captain Jarret Dais said the fire appeared to start on the exterior of the building and made its way into the attic.
With the roof being on fire the structure was unsafe to enter. A construction crew was called in to assist in tearing down the walls of the store for access to the flame.
“There was a family living in the basement of the buidling. They opened the window and smelt smoke and they discovered the fire.” Dais said everyone made it out safely.
The fire was officially out around 10:30 a.m.
A total of 23 fire personnel responded to the blaze. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Update 9:40 a.m.
Bankhead Convenience store is continuing to burn as crews fight the blaze. A backhoe and other construction vehicles have been brought to the scene to take the walls of the store down.
The last privately owned convenience store in Kelowna burned down this morning. Thankfully the family in the apartment attached made it out safely. The building is a total loss @KelownaCapNews pic.twitter.com/P3fvmWyN4q— Brittany Webster (@thebrittwebster) June 4, 2023
Without the walls coming down, the blaze would continue to burn all day according to the fire department as the structure was not safe to enter.
Update 8:30 a.m.
According to the store owner, they received a call from the store’s security company saying the burglar alarm was going off. When they went to check on the store’s security cameras, none of them were working anymore.
The owners bought the store from friends two years ago and is one of just two privately-owned convenience stores in Kelowna.
Update 8:00 a.m.
Black smoke and flames can now be seen coming from the back of the store.
The Kelowna fire department is working to douse a fire at the Bankhead convenience store on Bernard Avenue.
At approximately 5:20 a.m. the blaze was discovered. All residents of the building were able to evacuate safely.
A Capital News reporter on the scene reports that flames are still visible at 7:30 a.m.
Assistant Fire Chief Mike Walroth said that the building is a complete loss and the roof has burned through.
Bernard Avenue and Highland Drive are currently closed to traffic.
More to come.