Kimberley RCMP Detachment Commander Sgt. Steve Woodcox says that that the cause of the fire at the Kimberley Alpine Resort top lift hut on Monday morning is still undetermined, but the RCMP investigation will still consider it suspicious in nature.
“We’re going to look at it as suspicious,” Woodcox said. “But I also hear there was a power surge just before the fire. These are all things we are looking into. But we’re taking it as a suspicious fire at the scene because there’s no coming back and garnering evidence later.”
Woodcox says that at present there is nothing to link the resort fire with another suspicious fire that destroyed the Kimberley Gymnastics Club last week.
“There are no links we see between the two events, although they occurred within days of each other. But again we are looking at everything.”
Woodcox says that the gym fire investigation is proceeding.
“We’ve received a lot of tips and phone calls from the public,” he said, noting that with the gym on one of Kimberley’s main thoroughfares, Warren Avenue, it is in a very visible location compared to the lift hut at the top of the ski hill. “We are still investigating and we hope if anyone saw anything at the ski hill they will contact us as well.”
He reiterated that there was nothing at this point to link the two fires.
“It’s devastating for the community,” he said.
The Kimberley RCMP is requesting anyone with any information that can assist this investigation to please contact the Kimberley RCMP at (250)427-4811.
Meanwhile late Monday evening, Ted Funston, area manager at the Kimberley Alpine Resort issued a statement.
“This is to confirm that at approximately 3:00 am on Saturday, December 18, a fire broke out and destroyed the lift control building adjacent to the upper terminal of the North Star Express lift, the main ski lift on the front side of the Kimberley Alpine Resort,” the statement says. “We are relieved to report that no one was hurt in the fire.
“The Kimberley Fire Department and the RCMP responded immediately and are currently actively investigating the cause of the fire. We are assisting and supporting their investigation in any way we can.
“As soon as the seriousness of the incident became clear our thoughts immediately turned to all the families, children, and other keen skiers and riders who we love and who would be losing access to the mountain via the Northstar Quad chair until we can get it fixed again.
“Our hearts also go out to everyone in Kimberley who makes a living dependent on tourism and the operation of the ski resort, including the owners of many of the businesses in town, and the great staff who work for them.
Thank you for all the kind words of support you are providing, and the offerings of help many of the businesses in the region have come to us with. We’ve seen so many examples over the last few days of why we all love Kimberley!
Please know that our main focus right now is continuing to give locals and visitors access to the great skiing and riding up there, and to make visiting the resort as fun and enjoyable as we can. “