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Kelowna  

Residents displaced by Glenmore construction fire don't know when they can return home

No easy fix for hazard crane

Madison Erhardt

Sunil Dhand was evacuated from his home Tuesday after a townhouse under construction went up in flames.

"I heard someone banging at the door, then I go out and see flames 60-feet high.

A few hours after the fire, residents in the area were asked to evacuate.

"I had to evacuate right away, we were asked to go to Sandman Hotel," Dhand said.

City of Kelowna's Lance Kayfish says the decision to evacuate people from their homes was made after a crane that remains on the site was identified as a potential risk after it was structurally damaged by the fire.

“We don't know exactly the extent of the damage or its impact has been on the safety of the crane or if it is going to fall, but what we do know is the crane has had some impact," Kayfish said.

"So what we have is just concern is the crane is now unsafe and considering it is in a residential neighbourhood adjacent to Glenmore Road we want to exercise an abundance of caution," he added.

Glenmore Road remains closed between Cross and Scenic Road, and Union Road remains closed between Wyndham Crescent and Valley Road.

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.

Although Dhand and his family are safe, he says he worries about his house.

“One thing I was concerned about in the building was that it could fall down. That was a major concern,” he said.

An evacuation order has been issued for properties within a 300-foot radius of the construction site at the intersection of Glenmore Road and Union Ave.

Dhand says he was told those who have been displaced may be able to return home early next week, but the City of Kelowna has so far been unable to provide a concrete timeline.



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