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Video explores B.C. heritage home before it was destroyed in gas explosion

Footage shows how much care was taken to preserve heritage of Lakeshore home

A beautiful piece of Penticton history has been lost to fire but a realtor’s video touring the home forever captures the beauty of this gorgeous landmark.

On March 7, the historic Warren House at 434 Lakeshore Drive was levelled in an apparent gas explosion. All that is left of the 110-year-old home is a mound of charred rubble. The blaze took 110 years of history and memories with it.

It’s a loss for the family who lived there as well as for the community, said many on social media. People have been sharing their memories of the stately-looking home. One woman remembers playing at the Warren House as a child and picking chestnuts from the trees in the huge backyard. Another person recalled being babysat there. Others have shared memories of walking by the Warren House admiring its beauty and dreaming of owning or living in such a stunning waterfront home.

A family purchased the Warren House in 2018 and put hundreds of hours into preserving and restoring its original character. They turned the home into a successful bed and breakfast for a time.

The website for the bed and breakfast shows the stunning interior, including elegant bedrooms and bathrooms, a chef’s kitchen and a closed-in porch overlooking the lake. Check out the website here.

The house was put up for sale in 2020. It’s then realtor Sergei Sinicin of Neuhouzz Real Estate Group created a video where he tours the heritage home.

The Penticton Museum currently has an exhibit called Made Right Here: Penticton’s Built Heritage where Warren House and its history is featured.

The Warren House was built in 1912 for James John (J.J.) Warren, president of the Kettle Valley Railway. He would live in the Lakeshore home with his wife Annie and their five children.

Warren’s House was built during a time when Lakeshore and the surrounding area were experiencing a boom due to the construction of the KVR. The KVR brought jobs to the area and provided important transportation connections.

Warren House was built at the same time as the CP Railway Station at Penticton wharf at the base of Martin Street and Lakeshore. It was also when the Incola Hotel, a luxury hotel owned by the CPR was started in the 100 block of Lakeshore.

Warren House was built for Kettle Valley Railway president JJ Warren where he and his wife and five children lived. (Penticton Museum)
Warren House was built for Kettle Valley Railway president JJ Warren where he and his wife and five children lived. (Penticton Museum)

Lakeshore Drive is Penticton’s most iconic location for both residents and tourists. It is the most visited street in the city. Many have walked past the Warren House and admired its beauty and design.

The cause of the fire is related to a gas explosion said Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson, but added they don’t know the details of what happened.

This is what the Warren House looked like. The heritage home on Lakeshore Drive was destroyed by fire March 7. (Penticton Museum)

Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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