By KATE BOUEY
UPDATE: 12:19 p.m.
An early morning fire behind the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives has been labelled as suspicious, confirms fire investigator Lawrie Skolrood.
The RCMP are now involved in the case, said Skolrood.
Officers were at the scene Friday morning, guarding the evidence while the investigation continued.
Meanwhile, museum officials have expressed relief that no items were damaged by the blaze which raged just behind the building.
"Nothing inside has been affected at all, really, so that's really lucky,” said archivist Barb Bell, who had rushed down to the scene in the dark after word of the fire to inspect the damage. "It's all related to history, Vernon's history, so it is irreplaceable."
"We're just really lucky that the valuable contents of the museum and the collections of the community are safe," said Tracy Satin, executive director.
The cause of a fire in roofing materials behind the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives is under investigation.
Vernon Fire Rescue responded to a report of a fire around 2:30 a.m. Friday, said deputy fire chief Jack Blair.
“While they were sizing up the area, they found flames behind the building,” said Blair. “It appeared to be in a porta potty and roofing materials.”
The museum is currently being re-roofed.
Firefighters wore full protective gear, including breathing apparatus, because there was thick, black smoke caused by burning plastics, Blair said.
“It is under investigation,” said Blair. “An investigator will be there this morning to look into the cause.”