Fire in downtown Penticton started in back alley

It appears the building in the 200-block of Main Street involved in a Sept. 30 fire is salvageable.

Penticton firefighters in the back alley on the west side of Main Street where last week's fire is believed to have started in a plastic waste disposal bin

Penticton firefighters in the back alley on the west side of Main Street where last week's fire is believed to have started in a plastic waste disposal bin

It appears the building in the 200-block of Main Street involved in a Sept. 30 fire is salvageable.

Owner Nikos Theodosakis indicated Tuesday the structure, which housed a dozen businesses is sound, however requires considerable interior work.

“It’s easier to do repairs than tear the building down and start again,” said Theodosakis, who was unable to put a time line on restoration. “I think it’s good news because now at least we have kind of a plan,”

Meanwhile, according to Penticton fire department deputy chief Dave Spalding, the fire, which he estimated caused in excess of a million dollars damage, began outside at the back of the building.

“It started in an alley garbage bin not a can but the plastic blue and green garbage bins and found an opening into the outside wall which extended it inside the building,” said Spalding. “These garbage cans because they are plastic heat up and melt become like a pool of gasoline because they’re made with petroleum products and it’s a very high heat.”

He added that a false wall between the inside and outside of the building is thought to have provided the route for the fire to travel to the second floor.

Fire department and two separate insurance company investigators worked on the case for much of the day Friday.

Other details, including how the fire started initially have not yet been determined.

One person particularly pleased with word the structure will be repaired was co-owner Trisha Paseska of Fibonacci Roastery and Cafe.

“We got in there for the first time yesterday (Monday) and nothing is salvageable. They’re going to gut it and start from scratch but it’s just a huge relief and a lot of weight off our shoulders especially when you’re sitting there not knowing,” said Paseska. “We took it (Fibonacci) over in January 2007 and it’s been our lives but this is good news and we’ve got to stay positive and move ahead from here.”

Other nearby businesses which suffered damage from the fire, smoke and/or water included Hooked on Books and Softy’s Shoes and Comfort.

As well, 10 offices on the top floor were also affected.