Still no word on cause of fire that destroyed Parkcrest elementary

Kamloops Fire Rescue says it is possible cause may never be determined

The cause of a fire that destroyed Parkcrest elementary on Sept. 5 has yet to be determined.

Kamloops Fire Rescue fire information officer Kevin Cassidy said the department continues to help insurer Coast Claims, which has control of the scene.

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What caused the fire is still under investigation and it is possible it may never be determined.

“I can’t say if we will be able to narrow down the cause,” Cassidy said.

Fire investigators have teamed up with the insurance agent to look into different possible causes.

Kamloops Mounties have confirmed the fire is not believed to be arson-related.

The fire’s approximate area of origin was identified as the southwest portion of the building.

Cassidy said there is no timeline for when the insurance company’s investigation will wrap up.

There were no students in the school at the time of the late afternoon blaze, but a few custodial staff and a teacher all escaped from the building unscathed.

Firefighters were called to the school on Parkcrest Avenue, between Bossert Avenue and Acadia Place at 5:08 p.m.,

Due to the volume of fire and heavy smoke, firefighters fought the flames from a defensive position — meaning no interior attack was initiated as no one was believed to be in the building.

The fire consumed the school and could still be seen smouldering the next day.

Portions of the roof had caved in and exterior walls were bent inward.

During a press conference that followed the fire, school district officials said the school didn’t have a sprinkler system.

SD73 secretary treasurer Kelvin Stretch said 26 schools of the district’s 45 have sprinkler systems, leaving 19 that do not, as they were built before such systems were required to be installed.

Stretch said that, in speaking with the fire department, a sprinkler system may have been useful, but it wouldn’t have saved the school.

“That sprinkler system puts out about 15 gallons a minute and the fire department was putting 6,000 gallons a minute on that school,” Stretch said.

© Kamloops This Week


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