An apartment building on King Street — the former Knights Hall — was made uninhabitable by a fire on Tuesday, Nov. 22. (Barry Coulter photo)

An apartment building on King Street — the former Knights Hall — was made uninhabitable by a fire on Tuesday, Nov. 22. (Barry Coulter photo)

City’s “Unmet Needs Committee” struck to help residents displaced by apartment fire

City of Cranbrook has issued a do not occupy order on the currently uninhabitable building on King Street

The full extent of the damage to the Knight’s Hall building because of Tuesday’s fire, Nov. 22, is yet to be fully recognized, the City of Cranbrook said in a press release Friday.

Due of the current uninhabitable condition of the building, and the importance of keeping the residents safe, the City of Cranbrook has issued a do not occupy order on the building.

“The City issued the order because the utilities to the building had to be disconnected at the time of the fire,” the release said. “These utilities, both heating and electrical, must be re-certified by licensed professionals before they can be turned on again.”

Because of the order, the City through Emergency Support Services (ESS) has created an ‘Unmet Needs Committee’, which will work directly with the affected residents in providing housing needs in the medium and long term.

Representatives from the East Kootenay Emergency Management Program, Community Connections, Interior Health, BC Housing, the Canadian Red Cross and the City of Cranbrook make up the committee.

“As the Emergency Program Coordinator, I am very pleased with our team at the Emergency Operations Centre, who has spearheaded the efforts to quickly activate the Unmet Needs Committee to support those people affected by this heartbreaking incident,” said Scott Driver, Director of Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services.

“As a Fire Chief, I am very proud of the work our firefighters completed on Tuesday, as we were faced with extremely challenging conditions. Although the residents have a challenging road ahead of them, I am truly thankful that we experienced no loss of life.”

Just after noon on Tuesday November 22, Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services was dispatched to a third story apartment fire. The fire was contained to the apartment of origin and the hallway; however, the resulting smoke and water damage occurred throughout the building.

Firefighters were required to rescue two occupants from adjacent suites on the third floor. One of the rescued occupants received smoke inhalation and minor burn injuries and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services is very grateful for the support from the many individuals and local support agencies over the past few days including the Cranbrook RCMP, the BC Ambulance Service, the East Kootenay Emergency Management Program, Community Connections, Interior Health, BC Housing, the Canadian Red Cross, and the City’s Public Works department.