The old Kootenay Springs building on 6th Street in Cranbrook, just off the highway, was on fire Saturday night, Oct 17. Barry Coulter photo

Kootenay Springs building, burns in Cranbrook; other fires still under investigation

Derelict building was on the site of the old Cranbrook Brewery, itself destroyed by fire 95 years ago

Smoke clouds roiled through the intersection of Cranbrook Street North and 6th Street, as Cranbrook firefighters battled a blaze at the old Kootenay Springs building Saturday night, Oct. 17.

The fire broke out in the early evening, Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services got the call at 6:50 pm. By 7 p.m. flames were licking at the roof of the old derelict building just off the highway.

Firefighters responded with two apparatus and four firefighters. Upon arrival on scene, an additional 19 personnel and two additional engines were called in.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the building of origin and limited the loss caused by this fire.

The location of the fire presented many challenges with the very close proximity of the railway and the highway, according to a press release from Chris Zettel, Corporate Communications Officer for the City of Cranbrook.

“We are thankful for the support received by the RCMP, CP Rail and the BC Ambulance Service. There are no injuries to report because of this incident and we are very thankful for this outcome.

“There have been several fires recently, which are all in different stages of investigation,” says Scott Driver, Director of Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services. “Although circumstances surrounding several recent commercial fires appears to be similar, we have not connected any of them directly. We continue to work with our partners to investigate and determine cause and origin of these fires. Our investigations are ongoing.”

The old Kootenay Springs building — formerly the site of a water bottling plant — has sat derelict for many years.

Kootenay Springs was the last business to exist on the site formerly occupied by the Cranbrook Brewing Company (pictured below), which sat at that location until the 1920s — at that time outside Cranbrook city limits.

The Cranbrook brewery was itself destroyed by fire on October 3rd 1925 just 95 years and 14 days ago to the day of Saturday’s fire.

With files from David Humphrey

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The Cranbrook Brewery in the 1920s, then outside Cranbrook City Limits. Courtesy Cranbrook HIstory Centre and Archives

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