UPDATE: Do Not Occupy order posted on West Kelowna building, 150 people and their pets evacuated | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UPDATE: Do Not Occupy order posted on West Kelowna building, 150 people and their pets evacuated

April 18, 2021 - 8:18 AM

The 150 residents of a West Kelowna building evacuated this morning when a noxious smell was detected won't be going home soon.

WKFR and Regional HazMat team members have continued to search for a source of the smell, to no avail, West Kelowna fire chief Jason Brolund said. However, crews continue to detect levels of concern through various areas of the building.

"The building has been deemed unsafe to occupy under the City of West Kelowna Safe Premises Bylaw and a Do Not Occupy order has been posted," he said.

"The building is made up of rental units. No one may occupy the building until it has been made safe by the owner with the assistance of qualified professionals."

Residents of the building are directed to register with ESS at the Royal LePage Arena on Cameron Road in West Kelowna before 10 p.m. this evening. The reception centre will reopen tomorrow at 9 a.m.

They will receive 72 hours of ESS support in the form of accommodations, food vouchers and incidental costs. The property owner will make arrangements for tenants after that time period. Residents are to contact their landlord (IronClad Developments) for more information.

"WKFR fire crews will remain on scene into this evening to assist evacuees by removing essential and critical items from the building (medications, identification, car keys). This can be arranged following registration at the ESS reception centre," Brolund said.

"We thank the residents and owners of the building for their cooperation in this challenging situation. We are also grateful for the assistance of the ESS Volunteers who continue to take care of the evacuees. We appreciate the cooperation of the Regional HazMat Team from Kelowna Fire Department as well as the BC Ministry of Environment, Emergency Management BC and the BC Office of the Fire Commissioner."

Further updates will be provided by the building owner.

Just before 4 a.m. Sunday morning, West Kelowna Fire Rescue was called to a large apartment building on Elliott Road in West Kelowna to investigate an odour in the building.

"Crews arrived and evacuated residents and set out to determine the cause. The regional HazMat team from Kelowna Fire was requested to assist,"  Brolund said. 

One hundred and fifty residents and their pets were evacuated from the building and the Regional Emergency Support Services Team was activated.

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