Cause of blaze remains unknown

Investigators will probably never know what started the fire that destroyed Slack Alice's Show Pub

Investigators probing the cause of the early-morning blaze that destroyed several Front Street businesses have come up empty handed.

According to deputy chief Dave Spalding of the Penticton Fire Department, the matter will now be turned over to the insurance companies involved.

“It’s all done and they (investigators) weren’t able to determine the point of origin or the cause,” said the deputy chief Thursday. “We know it started on the top floor above the Chinese Laundry (restaurant) in one of the storage room areas, but there was so much damage by the time we got to the investigation and we couldn’t make any other determinations other than that was kind of the area of origin.”

A department fire inspector and investigators from the insurance firms and RCMP spent a number of days sifting through burnt-out remains without success.

The main tenant in the century-old structure, Slack Alice’s Show Pub, was closed at the time and no one was in the building.

Fire officials said earlier false ceilings and other renovations to the building over the years likely contributed to the difficulty in fighting the blaze.

At the height of the fire, the flames could be seen shooting high into the night sky.

By the time daylight arrived there was little left of the building as crews continued to extinguish hot spots, sending up a white plume of smoke visible throughout the city.

Along with the pub and restaurant, Bublee’s Beer and Wine Store was also destroyed.

The next task will be the site cleanup, however, it’s not known when or how long that will take.