Penticton opens emergency centre for dozens of evacuees following devastating apartment fire | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton opens emergency centre for dozens of evacuees following devastating apartment fire

The City of Penticton has opened the doors at its emergency centre on Ellis Street for displaced residents following an apartment fire at Clarence House on Elm Avenue, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020.
October 27, 2020 - 1:54 PM

Dozens of lives are in limbo in Penticton following a devastating fire at a condo complex early this morning.

Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson says a structural engineer has inspected the remains of Clarence House, an apartment building located at 217 Elm Ave., following the fire which gutted the upper floor of the three-storey structure today, Oct. 27.

Watkinson says there is some risk, but firefighters are entering the building to conduct primary and secondary searches. It is undetermined as yet whether there were any victims in the fire.

READ MORE: Fire destroys apartment condo building in Penticton

He says emergency social services has opened up the City’s emergency centre at 199 Ellis St. and will be looking after the displaced residents’ essential services and needs for the next 72 hours.

“Between now and then we’ll try and get an idea of what residents need from their homes, if they are accessible or not, and try and get that to the homeowners. The big question is whether the building will be accessible or not,” Watkinson says.

City of Penticton social development strategist Adam Goodwin says not all evacuees will report to the centre, but those that do are registered and provided with supports, such as vouchers for food and accommodation, with the assistance of Emergency Management B.C.

Goodwin says the City is still registering evacuees, with about two dozen registered so far.

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