Remains of Burnt Penticton heritage home have yet to be cleaned up

Burnt home still an eyesore

Casey Richardson

The debris of what's left of a historic house on Lakeshore Drive in Penticton still hasn’t been cleaned up, more than six months after it was burned.

Warren House was a 110-year-old lakefront home, which was most recently a bed-and-breakfast and burned down on March 7 from a gas explosion that resulted in the total loss.

The property was deemed "unsightly and untidy as to be offensive to the community" and was declared a nuisance that required remedial action by the City of Penticton. There were also health concerns.

On July 5, city council voted against giving the owners of 434 Lakeshore Drive an extension on their cleanup. The city had agreed to expedite the Ruutels’ demolition permit to help speed up the entire process.

“It’s right on our lakeshore drive, it is so evident, it’s just right in everyone’s view,” Coun. Judy Sentes said at the meeting.

Council approved for the city to move forward with remedial actions and charge the owners for the work if the property wasn’t cleaned up in time.

Although the city originally ruled that the homeowners had to meet a July 11 deadline to remove all the fire debris and burned trees, the property owners ended up being allowed more time to clean up.

“Staff continues to talk, obviously with the owner, who is disputing things with their insurance company. So staff gave them one more month, which is fast approaching. So if they don't clean up very soon, the city is prepared to move in and do the cleanup and it will be done,” said Shane Mills, the city’s senior communications advisor

If the city has to move forward with the cleanup themselves, Mills said it's safe to say the cost will be tens of thousands and likely around two weeks to complete.

“It's not cheap, right? Because it's not just the cleanup. It's, you know, this contaminated things on the site, and all that type of stuff,” he added.

“The deadline is fast approaching and it's gonna be dealt with imminently one way or the other, by the city, or by the owner.”

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