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Fire at heritage tobacco barn in Kelowna doused by residents

McEachern Tobacco Barn is on the city’s heritage register
Fire trucks parked near the McEachern Tobacco Barn on Wednesday, June 16.(Aaron Hemens/Capital News)

Emergency crews were called to an old tobacco barn on the City of Kelowna’s heritage register for reports of a structure fire on Wednesday afternoon (June 16).

Firefighters responded to the McEachern Tobacco Barn at the corner of KLO and Benvoulin roads around 12:30 p.m.

Residents of the area quickly doused the fire before it could cause severe damage to the more than 100-year-old structure and the fire was mostly out by the time fire crews arrived.

Firefighters sprayed down some hay bales to ensured the blaze was fully out.

The barn was built around 1912 as a large-scale farm and is “the last largely unaltered tobacco barn in Kelowna,” according to the city.

“[The McEachern Tobacco Barn is] the most important reminder of an industry which, although ultimately unsuccessful, more than once looked to become the primary crop in the Kelowna area. It is characteristic of the design of tobacco-curing barns, and is associated with a number of families who farmed in this area,” reads the heritage registry entry.

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