More than two dozen Kamloops shelter residents relocated due to fire | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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More than two dozen Kamloops shelter residents relocated due to fire

The Emerald Centre in downtown Kamloops.
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June 15, 2020 - 1:36 PM

More than two dozen clients who were calling the Emerald Centre home have now been relocated to motels and a temporary shelter after a small fire on the weekend.

At around 10 p.m. June 13, residents and staff of the homeless shelter the Emerald Centre had to evacuate the building due to a fire in the women’s wing. According to a media release from the Canadian Mental Health Association, the sprinkler system was effective in putting out the fire, although emergency crews did attend the scene.

Alfred Achoba, manager of operations for the Canadian Mental Health Association Kamloops, says as a result of the fire 27 people have been moved into temporary spaces, including a shelter at 185 Royal Ave. on the North Shore.

“It depends on the level of needs of the clients. We moved them to various sites where there was support. For those clients who can take care of themselves and don’t need extra support, we’ve put them in motels,” Achoba says. “The staff who work at the shelter are able to support these folks at the other sites. The folks who need more support, they’re at the temporary shelter.”

He says neither of the two registered occupants were in the room at the time of the fire, though both women have now made contact with staff. Neither of their personal belongings were damaged, although a mattress in the room will need to be replaced.

Achoba says he expects to hear from Kamloops Fire Rescue and the RCMP today to get more insight as to what might have caused the fire.

After news of the fire broke, he says Kamloopsians were very generous in offering to help.

“I’m grateful to the City and all the other stakeholders and the Kamloops community for their generosity and support. We’ve received so many calls just checking in on us and what we need.”

He says although the cleanup efforts are still underway, he expects residents to be able to return to the Emerald Centre back by Wednesday.

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