Penticton wants owners to clean up heritage home destroyed by gas explosion

City is giving the owners until July 11 to remove the fire debris

The owners of the burned-down historic Warren House may be facing a deadline to remove the fire-damaged debris left behind from the March explosion.

At the Tuesday, June 7 meeting, Penticton city staff are asking that council, under the authority of the Community Charter, declare the property at 434 Lakeshore Drive West, is in an unsafe and unsightly condition that requires remedial action to demolish and remove the fire-damaged debris and level the site.

It was March 7 when a large explosion was heard and flames quickly ripped through the 110-year-old home. The fire was caused by a gas explosion.

Within 10 minutes of the start of the fire, the two-storey home collapsed.

READ MORE: Gas explosion levels Lakeshore Drive heritage home

On May 3, the building and permitting department sent a standard fire-damaged building letter to owners to inform of the requirement for a building permit for repairs or alterations to the structure.

On May 16, bylaw services received a complaint that the property was unsightly. The complainant also had concerns that the exposed materials may be hazardous to the health of the neighbouring residents.

The city has declared the property unsightly and is requesting that all debris from the yard, which includes those trees damaged by the fire and the remnants of the structure be brought to a disposal site no later than 4:30 p.m. on July 11.

The historic Warren House on Lakeshore Drive became engulfed in flames and quickly was destroyed by fire on March 7. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

The historic Warren House on Lakeshore Drive became engulfed in flames and quickly was destroyed by fire on March 7. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

The property owners will be given until June 27 to ask council to reconsider these actions. If the owners have not fully completed the remedial action requirements on or before the time limit specified in this council resolution all costs incurred by the city to bring the property into compliance will be at the expense of the owners, said the city report.

According to the report to council, the owners have been waiting eight weeks for approval of an insurance claim and are unwilling to spend additional funds on the property until that process has concluded. The owners also indicated there were currently no re-development plans for the property at this time.

The 2021 BC Assessment has the land valued at $1,142,000 and the building was valued at $567,000, however, because of the fire, staff estimates the total value of the property to only be equal to that of the land.

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