Charges laid in Osoyoos blaze

An 18-year-old male has been arrested in connection with a weekend fire in Osoyoos that destroyed two businesses.

Phoenix Raymond Seillo Lonsdale, also known as  Phoenix Killian McGourty, appeared in the Penticton courthouse on Tuesday facing one count of arson.

Osoyoos fire chief Rick Jones said they were called out to the Osoyoos Christian Ministry Thrift Store on Main Street at around 8:48 a.m. Sunday.

“All the windows were dark and the building was filled with smoke. As soon as we opened the door we could see the flames inside and the battle started,” said Jones.

The majority of the smoke came from the thrift store, but the adjacent building, the Dollar Smart Discount store, was also being consumed by the fire.  Jones said fire crews finished fighting the blaze around 4 p.m. and were called back out Monday morning around 4:30 a.m. because of a small flare up.

“Right now it is in the investigating stage. The fire commission office is coming down from Kamloops and they are going to speak with us to help determine the cause. If items have to be sent away for testing it could take awhile before the cause can be determined,” said Jones, adding they are still in the preliminary stages of the investigation and no dollar value could be estimated on the loss.

The fire department kept the fire from spreading to other neighbouring businesses whose firewalls also prevented the fire from jumping. Jones said the CIBC, Lakeside Travel and a dental clinic all suffered smoke damage and some had water damage.


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