Residents still not allowed back after Esquimalt apartment fire
Published Wednesday, April 10, 2019 3:31PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 11, 2019 1:45PM PDT
Residents of the Lindsay Place apartment building on Craigflower Road are still not allowed back into their homes following a devastating fire that killed a woman on Sunday.
Esquimalt Fire hoped to have its investigation wrapped up Wednesday afternoon, after which point it would turn the building back over to a property management company and insurance company.
An air analysis test has been concluded throughout the building giving the green light for work to be done to make it habitable again.
"The air within the building is definitely at expectable tolerances for people to be working in the first, second and third floor,” said Esquimalt Fire Chief Chris Jancowski. “The company will now have to engage with trades to reenergize the building, bringing water back to the building and isolating parts of the fire alarm."
Following that, an environmental assessment will have to be done on the whole building to determine which areas of the building will still be off limits to tradespeople due to asbestos concerns.
Belmont Properties, which manages the apartment building, says it's working with residents. An information meeting was held Tuesday where an update was provided on projected timelines to get everyone back into their suites.
“Currently we’re doing everything we can for the residents, even putting them up in temporary accommodations,” said Susan Williams of Belmont Properties. “We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do.”
Jancowski said fire investigators have made a determination as to where the origin of the fire occurred.
"We haven’t determined the initial source of ignition yet but it is in the back half of the apartment, in the kitchen, common space area," said Jancowski.
Neighbours have identified Judith Burke as the lone woman who died in the fire when she became trapped on the balcony of her burning suite.
Belmont Properties is hoping to have most of its work completed in the next two to three days, and then the majority of the 100 displaced people will be able to return home.