June 19, 2014 - 10:02 AM
PENTICTON - Residents of the Three Gables Hotel were ordered to evacuate the building yesterday due to unsafe and unhealthy building conditions.
Penticton Fire Department officials said the existing building conditions could seriously endanger life or property if there were a fire. The 17 residents were given 48 hours to collect their things and leave.
Penticton Fire Chief Wayne Williams said the evacuation is for public safety.
“Our first priority is the security of the residents, and we are working with several agencies to find housing options for them,” he said.
The building has yielded red flags for years. Inspectors found deficiencies including compromised fire separations, inadequate fire alarm systems and impeded exits.
The hotel owner was advised to make any changes necessary to ensure the building is safe.
The Fire Commissioner made orders in the past to have the building repaired, however there was no compliance on behalf of the owner. The final step was to issue an evacuation order.
Kelowna’s Gospel Mission has offered short-term shelter to the Gables residents. The Mission is at capacity but Executive Director Randy Benson said their doors are open for those in need.
"We are the social service leader in the Okanagan and when the call is received, and when misfortune strikes, we immediately respond to people in crisis,” he said.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014