Evacuations ordered while crane in Kelowna fire remains a risk | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Evacuations ordered while crane in Kelowna fire remains a risk

What is left of a condo complex under construction in Kelowna is seen in this Wednesday, April 7, 2021 photo. Fire investigators need to know the crane on the site is secure before they can begin looking for the cause of the blaze.
April 07, 2021 - 8:14 PM

As many as nine homes in Kelowna have been evacuated until the charred remains of a crane involved in Tuesday's fire can be assessed and safely taken down. 

The Central Okanagan Regional Emergency Program has declared a local state of emergency and evacuated anyone living within 300 feet of the crane at Glenmore Road and Union Road. The crane was involved in a massive fire Tuesday at a 54-unit condo complex that was under construction. The damaged crane is also keeping roads closed and even fire inspectors at bay.

“We’re waiting for the contractor or the insurance company to determine the integrity of the crane before we send people in," deputy fire chief Sandra Kaleb told iNFOnews.ca earlier today, April 7. 

Glenmore Road, a major connecting route between Kelowna and Lake Country, is closed in front of the site, as is Union Road.

Kaleb is hoping the situation is resolved quickly but cannot say when that will be and cannot say whether the fire is suspicious or not.

Emergency program coordinator Sandra Follack the call was made out of "an abundance of caution."

“We are working with the City of Kelowna, Emergency Management B.C., Worksafe B.C., the Kelowna Fire Department and professional engineers to assess the level of risk, determine the structural integrity of the crane and mitigate the situation as quickly as possible,” she said in a release.

These homes are evacuated:

  • Units 1 – 7, 115 Wyndham Crescent
  • 129 Wyndham Crescent
  •  Units 123 – 131, 133 Wyndham Crescent

For the latest information on the evacuation, go to cordemergency.ca

 

READ MORE: UPDATE: Kelowna apartment complex under construction destroyed by fire

The first two floors of the planned four-storey building had been completed with third floor walls starting to go up the day before the fire broke out, the owner said.

“I’m devastated after the loss,” Dave Nahal said. “It’s been a very hard and tough loss.”

He said he was not in the mood to talk about the fire but expects, some day, to rebuild.

“I’m kind of at a loss right now,” he said. “I just kind of want to take a break to think it over.”

Kaleb explained the crane belongs to a different company, not the building owner, and she is dealing with people there.

The Central Okanagan Regional Emergency Program release said this about traffic closures.

"Glenmore Road remains closed between Cross and Scenic Road, and Union Road remains closed between Wyndham Crescent and Valley Road. Sidewalks on Glenmore between Cross and Scenic are closed to foot traffic as well as sidewalks on Union between Glenmore Road and Snowsell Street North.

Southbound traffic has been rerouted to Snowsell Street North and Scenic Road, while northbound traffic has been directed to Snowsell Street North and Valley Road. Electronic message boards and signage have been installed to help direct traffic. These closures and detours remain in place until further notice.

“To help ensure public safety, we are asking the public to avoid closed off areas on and along Glenmore Road and follow the traffic and sidewalk closures, on-site signage and detours,” says Lance Kayfish, Risk Manager for the City of Kelowna. “More details and information will be provided as they become available.”


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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