Historic Megaw Building Gutted
by Fire Wednesday April 26, 1995
It was a devasting fire that damaged the businesses and residences of the old Megaw building (originally built in 1908), and left Vernonites in shock in the early morning hours of April 26, 1995. The blaze consumed residential apartments on the fourth floor and four businesses resulting in damage estimated to be between $2.2 and $2.5 million dollars. Lynn Spraggs had only owned the building for four years at the time. "It was a great building. I hate to see heritage buildings destroyed and people displaced." The basement filled with water and sustained heavy smoke damage. Thankfully, no one perished in the inferno.
Residents were met by the Red Cross at nearby McCulloch Court and were then accommodated at the Schell Motel. The community pulled together and rallied their efforts to support the residents of the building. The Downtown Vernon Association, Salvation Army, and generous donations from the community helped put the residents and businesses back on their feet. The building was restored and now is deemed a non-combustible building. It was renamed Sun Valley Mall. Vernon's first wall mural was revealed as part of the mural project on the east side of the building. The artist and designer was Michelle Loughery who worked with several painters on the project and was paid by way of a grant obtained through Human Resources Development Canada. The cause of the fire was never determined and was declared accidental.