Hedley, B.C.'s historic Hitching Post Restaurant levelled by fire
Unconfirmed reports say the owners had to jump from the 2nd storey to escape the flames
An overnight fire has destroyed the historic Hitching Post Restaurant in Hedley, B.C., and unconfirmed reports say the two owners are in hospital after escaping the flames by jumping from the second floor.
"Essentially the building is on the ground and entirely burned except for one wall," said volunteer firefighter Ken Hoyle.
Hoyle said a dozen members of the Hedley volunteer fire department and a pumper truck arrived at the fire around 2 a.m. PT to find the building fully engulfed.
"For the community, it is [devastating. It's a gathering place and it's a loss," said Hoyle.
According to its website, the Hitching Post occupied a building that was erected in 1903 during the mining heyday of Hedley. The restaurant was sold to new owners earlier this year.
Hoyle said firefighters were hoping to have the fire fully extinguished by the afternoon. The side of an adjacent house was also burned.
The Hitching Post was a well known stop on the drive along Highway 3 between the Lower Mainland and the South Okanagan. It was also a popular destination for those living in the Similkameen Valley.