Monday’s fire left nothing but memories

Heartwrenching is one way to describe Monday morning’s fire in Keremeos.


Heartwrenching is one way to describe Monday morning’s fire in Keremeos.

The fire beleagured community was victim to another conflagration early on July 14 when the historic Keremeos Hotel erupted in a maelstrom of fire and smoke.

Fortunately, no one was hurt in the fire.

Monday’s fire marks the third business fire this year, on top of several private residences that have gone up in smoke over the past year.

Twenty residents are out of work with three businesses destroyed by the flames. All this is taking place during what is traditionally one of the busier times of the year for the Keremeos retail sector.

One couldn’t blame Keremeos residents – or the fire department – for wondering what they did to deserve such bad luck, or when this current cycle of fire activity will cease.

The venerable old building that burned Monday was one of the first commercial structures built in what was, in 1906, the third version of the Keremeos townsite, having moved from the upper bench flats near present day Bears Fruit Stand when hotel owner George Kirby realized the coming railway would be built on the level ground near the river.

The Keremeos Hotel holds a special place in the hearts of many in the area. As one Facebook comment noted, “a lot of good and foggy memories came out of that bar.”

The business survived 108 years in many different forms, but it was always a place of comfort and pleasure to the many who stayed in its accommodations or drank at its bar.

Monday, July 14 was a sad day in Keremeos. We feel for the employees who lost jobs, and the business and property owners who lost their property today.


We can only wish for a quick resolution to today’s damage, and hopefully a speedy rebuilding.



Just Posted

Penticton cyclist injured in hit-and-run in critical condition

Jesse Birkedal was injured in a hit-and-run while cycling on Eastside Road

Vehicle smashes sign and cars in Summerland school parking lot

Driver of a Ford Expedition lost control, crashing into two other vehicles

Dangerous driving in Keremeos and Vernon nets jail time

Gary Patrick Richard will serve 73 days in jail for dangerous driving and other offences

Top classic car show cruises back into Penticton

Peach City Beach Cruise runs June 21 to 23 in Penticton

Penticton pharmacy restricted from dispensing opioid treatment drugs

B.C. College of Pharmacists alleges Sunrise Pharmacy dispensed treatment drugs against rules

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Man arrested during Kelowna police stand off

Water is flooding Highway 33 in Kelowna Monday afternoon

Judas Priest rocks the Okanagan

Judas Priest is on a 32 date tour of North America

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Restrictive policies affecting labour mobility for care aides in B.C.

‘I had to take two competency exams and pay over $1,400,’ said an Okanagan care aide

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Most Read