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Fire burning at auto-wrecking yard in Chase

Firefighters have a fire that broke out in an auto-wrecking and tow yard in Chase Friday morning under control.

Firefighters have a fire that broke out in an auto-wrecking and tow yard in Chase Friday morning under control.

Resident Louise Whitney said she was awakened by loud pops that sounded like gunshots early Friday morning, which she now figures were from the fire.

Whitney went for a morning walk at about 5:30 a.m., three blocks form her home, to discover the fire, about another block away, at the junkyard.

She took some photos of the fire as the bright orange flames sent plumes of smoke into the black, early morning sky.

"And we left because we just knew that because the fire was burning in such a crazy area that it would be pretty bad smoke," she said.

The Village of Chase Fire Chief has issued a warning. He said in a message to the village administrator that smoke from the auto-wrecking yard fire may be toxic and he is encouraging everyone to stay indoors if they can to reduce exposure to the smoke.

As of 12:30 p.m., the fire was still burning at Adrenaline Auto Recycler on Alymer Road — also known as Garrick Automotive.

RCMP Cpl. Aaron Janzen told KTW firefighters have the blaze mostly under control, but are still extinguishing hot spots.

Janzen said there have been no reported injuries from the fire, and the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

Gary Bell, an employee of Adrenaline Auto Recyclers, told the Kelowna Capital News that staff believe arson was the cause of the fire. He said it started near the back of the yard.

Asked about the loud bangs, he said those were air bags popping.

Five fire trucks were on site, and firefighters were “definitely making headway,” he reported.

Bell said the Chase business has been operating for 15- to 20-plus years.

 

—with files from Black Press