Suspect identified in destructive downtown Vernon fire: RCMP

A suspect has been identified, say police, concerning a massive fire that destroyed several businesses in Vernon, B.C.’s downtown last summer.

During the early hours of July 4, 2023, flames erupted inside a building along the 2800 block of 30th Street.

Fire crews were quick to respond and managed to get the blaze under control, but not before the structure housing an estimated seven local businesses was gutted by flames.

Const. Chris Terleski with the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP confirmed to Global News that a suspect has been identified but that no formal charges have been laid.

“It’s a complex investigation, but as it progressed and as a result of the investigation, we did identify a suspect,” said Terleski, adding the file is now being reviewed by the BC Prosecution Service.

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“So, as part of the process in all cases, Crown prosecutors and police are working closely to ensure that a like any kind of any crimes or potential charges are investigated fully, and that we have collected all necessary evidence to support any charges.”

No one was injured in the blaze.

More than nine months later, the building is still in the process of being demolished as it’s considered a risk to the public.

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