Kelowna firefighters attack a fire that caused extensive damage to the interior of the White Stag Auto Body shop at 1140 Brant Rd. this morning.

Kelowna: Downtown fire destroys auto body shop

Employees evacuated safely as fire causes extensive damage to interior of White Stag Auto Body.

  • Sep. 26, 2013 4:00 p.m.

The White Stage Auto Body shop, 1140 Brant Ave., suffered extensive damage after a fire broke out inside the shop early this morning.

The six employees in the business at the time were safely evacuated  but some vehicles have been damaged that couldn’t be moved outside of the shop in time.

While billowing black smoke could be seen from rising from the shop from across the city, the fire damage was largely contained to the interior of the autobody shop, which has been in business since 1972.

Neighbouring businesses and residents in eight units of an apartment building on Brant Avenue overlooking White Stag were evacuated for precautionary reasons.

Andrea Morgan, a retired resident of the apartment complex, said she heard yelling and the sound of explosions in the immediate aftermath of the fire being ignited.

“We were asked to leave for precautionary reasons… and it was a little disconcerting to learn about the chemicals in the building,” Morgan said.

“But I had complete faith in the fire department being able to handle the situation…I feel bad for (owner Frank Vaski) as the business has been here for a long time.”

Vaski said all the employees were evacuated and some of the vehicles in the shop at the time were moved from the shop as the fire department arrived. Another employee said at least one semi-truck and a pickup truck undergoing work in the shop couldn’t be moved in time and likely suffered serious damage.

“In this line of work, it’s just one of those things that can happen,” said Vaski, who noted the business does have fire insurance.

Another White Stag employee said it appeared an electrical spark might have initially started a fire that spread around the floor of one of the service bays. While the flames on the floor were initially doused, flames were subsequently ignited on the ceiling which quickly spread, he said.

Six fire trucks from three Kelowna firehalls responded to the scene as did two ambulances while police were redirecting traffic from Gordon Drive north of Clement Avenue near the location of White Stag Auto Body.

No adjacent buildings were damaged by the fire.




Just Posted

Great news for Indigenous youth program in BC

The federal government came through with over $1 million in funding for Indigenous youth program

Telephone poles placed in centre of sidewalk angers West Kelowna watchdog

Audience Group calls placement of poles in new Boucherie Road upgrade project ‘idiocy’

Kelowna asking public to help update its Cultural Plan

Second survey this year to posted to gather public input about cultural programs and services

Blood transfusion saved colitis-stricken Lake Country woman’s life

Rebecca Roth encourages public to support Lake Country blood donor clinic Sept. 26

Three candidates drop out of Central Okanagan municipal election

Two running for Peachland/OK West trustee and OK East rural director candidate step aside

Your weekend weather update

Rain continues to move right across the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

Low risk associated with case of pneumococcal disease in the South Okanagan

No identified risk to the public from recent case of pneumococcal disease with associated meningitis

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read