An Osoyoos business went up in flames last night.

Members of the Osoyoos Fire Department were called to the East Indian Meat Shop — located just north of Osoyoos on Hwy. 97 — just after 8 p.m.

“It seemed to be in the basement,” said Osoyoos Fire Chief Ryan McCaskill. “From the road it looks like a one-level building, but from the back side it’s actually a two-level building. When we got around the backside we could see smoke billowing out from under the door.”

Very quickly, firefighters encountered “visible flame” coming from the northwest side of the building.

“It just got worse,” said Chief McCaskill. “Finally when it got through the basement ceiling and into the main floor we were able to hit it through windows and gain access to it there.”

He added it appeared the fire had burned for quite awhile before it was discovered and reported.

The department was able to subdue the fire after midnight and eventually left the property around 1 a.m.

“We had five trucks on scene and a lot of manpower — around 20 guys, I’m guessing,” he said.

The fire destroyed a retail portion of the building. Rooms to the south of the building were slightly damaged.

Investigators, Chief McCaskill said, would be in Osoyoos Tuesday to begin investigating the fire, adding it wasn’t safe to enter the property today.

“We know the area (where the fire started), but we don’t have a clue yet of how.”

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