The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre is able to go on with its shows, despite a fire at the facility earlier this week.
A fire broke out Sunday morning in the Green Room, damaging some furnishings, while the sprinklers caused water damage to a kitchen, hallway and the dance floor in the Marie Fleming Hall.
The building maintenance supervisor opened the building about 6:50 Sunday morning, went into the Green Room, turned on the light, left his coat and lunch there, and went to work somewhere else in the building.
The fire alarm went off about 20 to 30 minutes later.
“He went back to the Green Room and it was filled with smoke, and the couch was fully engaged in fire,” says Executive Director Jim Harding.
The sprinkler system was automatically activated, and Harding says the supervisor, Lee Belanger, grabbed a fire extinguisher to put the blaze out.
Harding, who was in Victoria at the time of the fire, says their insurance provider is trying to find out more about what started it.
“They brought in a fire investigator to look into the actual cause of the blaze, but we’re waiting for that formal report to come back.”
Harding adds there are multiple insurers involved in the process of determining actual cause.
54/40 held a benefit concert in the venue the night before the fire, but Harding doesn’t think that had anything to do with the cause.
Harding says the west side of the building is out of service until repairs are made, but they are still proceeding with their shows.
“We were cleared for public performance. There is no threat or danger to the public at all. There is no residue smell of smoke or anything.”
Harding says they need the spaces restored as soon as possible.
“We’ve got a number of big concerts. Jim Cuddy is in here Saturday night. That’s all sold out. We’re trying to make alternate Green Room provisions for the performers back stage, so we’ve been scrambling a little bit,” says Harding.
Some dance classes had to be moved to the Okanagan School of Ballet.