‘Resiliency centre’ opens for Kelowna fire victims

Residents of the first of two apartment buildings in Kelowna that burned last week told they will not be able to return anytime soon.

The Kelowna Fire Department has been told by the  owners of the Bristol Apartments on Franklyn Road in Rutland that all residents will be kept out of the building for an indefinite period of time.

Following a serious fire, at the building last weekend, it was hoped residents from the lesser damaged portion of the Bristol could return.

The fire was the first of two serious apartment building fires in the Rutland area in the last week. The second, at the 52-unit Legacy II building on Rutland Road North, resulted in extensive damage, including destruction of the roof and it has forced all the residents of that building out for the foreseeable future.

The Bristol’s owner contacted most of the residents of that apartment building Thursday and is working on a plan to facilitate re‐entry to allow for the removal of contents as soon as it is safe to do so, said the fire department.

Meanwhile, the department says a  “resiliency centre” has been established with the joint support of the Canadian Red Cross, Salvation Army and community volunteers to help displaced residents.

Located at the Salvation Army Church at 1480 Sutherland Avenue, the centre will be open the following hours: Friday until 7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 11a.m. and Monday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Residents with unmet needs, or those requiring special assistance with no other options, are encouraged to seek out the assistance of the Canadian Red Cross at the  the centre. Support for residents may also be available through the Ministry of Social Development (residents should contact the local office) or through B.C. Housing (bchousing.org)

Starting today (Friday) the Salvation Army is also offering assistance to affected residents in the form of clothing and household goods that have been generously donated. Residents are asked to come to the centre to access this support.

The public is also being asked to help. Anyone wishing to donate funds to assist the residents of both the Bristol and the Legacy apartment buildings is encouraged to contact the local Canadian Red Cross office by phone at (250) 491‐8443 and mention the Kelowna Apartment Fires fund.

The fire department is also urging landlords that have available rental units to contact the local Canadian Red Cross office at 250-491‐8443 . The Red Cross will be assisting by matching available units with residents requiring accommodation.

The department is publicly thanking all the agencies and volunteers involved in assisting residents impacted by the two fires.

 

 

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