‘Really dark smoke’: Fire damages historic church in Kamloops 

Firefighters with Kamloops Fire Rescue were busy on Thursday responding to a fire at a historic church.

St. Andrews Presbyterian Church was built in 1887 and is the oldest public building remaining in the city.

Smoke was first seen rising from the church around 9 a.m.

Kamloops Fire Rescue said flames spread into the building’s interior, but it is unclear how much damage the church sustained.

“It went up the wall and it got into the attic space, so it was a bit challenging,” Deputy Chief Ryan Cali said.

“High ceilings.… We had to get crews in there and create an opening so we could get up with a thermal imager and find where the fire was.”

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FortisBC was also called in to shut off the gas lines into the church.

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The fire has since been put out.

A Kamloops community member said they witnessed some of the blaze and possible ignition.

“We came down here and there was a fire in the back of a cart, or a shopping cart, right to the side of the church and there were flames billowing up out of the eaves out of the top, really dark smoke,” Daryl Snell said.

“It’s an iconic church…. It’s where everyone goes for music, festivals and getting married. It would be a disaster if anything happened to this.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation and no injuries have been reported.

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