Whistler residents homeless after Eva Lake fire 

Wedge building evacuated as restoration begins

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED BY GRACE BLOK - WEDGE FIRE: Eight units in the Wedge Building have been affected by the fire - the upper units have fire, smoke and water damage, the lower ones smoke and water damage.
  • Photo submitted by Grace Blok
  • WEDGE FIRE: Eight units in the Wedge Building have been affected by the fire - the upper units have fire, smoke and water damage, the lower ones smoke and water damage.

About 15 people are temporarily homeless this week after a fire broke out at a building in the Eva Lake complex Monday afternoon.

No one was injured in the blaze.

Fire Chief Rob Whitton will be investigating the fire today (Tuesday) along with a private investigator from the insurance company.

"The unit that was involved was heavily damaged. The unit beside it will have some fire and smoke damage as well, on the upper floor. And the lower units may have some minor water and smoke damage," said Whitton.

"At this point in time nothing seems to be out of ordinary or suspect in any way, shape, or form."

All residents in that building are now without homes. Some have been staying at the Crystal Lodge, where they work. Others found hotel rooms through Emergency Social Services. It's not clear how long they will be without homes.

"We may get lucky. Depending on what kind of water damage we have to the lower units, they may be able to be occupied as early as tomorrow, if we can figure out how to turn on the power in there without affecting the rest of the building, otherwise it will be a fairly lengthy time until they get the area rehabbed," said Whitton.

Barry Burko, of Summit Strata Management which manages the complex, said if there is a lesson to be learned from this fire it's that tenants need to get their own insurance.

"If they don't have it, they may not have places to stay," he said.

"It's minimal cost for a condo policy for a tenant."

Emergency Social Services were involved in helping the displaced residents.

Burko had high praise for the local fire department, which was on scene for about four hours.

"The fire department minimized the water damage down below and they were just outstanding," said Burko. "I can't say enough. We thought they were so outstanding, we bought them 15 pizzas."

For more on the story pick up Thursday's Pique and check back for updates.

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