Do not occupy orders remain in place for three historic buildings that appear to have survived a devastating fire in downtown Williams Lake.
Building Inspector Gary Deane said structural engineers will be assessing the buildings tomorrow (Oct. 2.).
“Right now due to the amount of water that the fire department actually used to control the fire; there’s a lot of water in there,” Deane said.
“The fire department pumped slightly over three million liters of water into that area. There are some concerns about the stability of the foundations of the three buildings that are still standing below it.”
Deane reminds pedestrians and motorists to honor the barricades that are set up right now.
He said some preliminary testing has been completed to allow the cleanup and opening of the roadway, and that hazardous materials including asbestos, lead, mercury, and possibly PCB which is quite typical for buildings of that age remains onsite.
“It isn’t really a safe place to be accessing,” Deane said.
“We’re hoping that this week the insurance companies will have their environmental people up to sort of design a plan on how to clean up the debris that is left but as I say again it’s very early in this, so we’re probably looking at this for a few weeks yet until we see something actually concrete happening up there.”
The cause of the fire that destroyed Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge and New World Cafe remains undetermined.
“Our fire department did a wonderful job with help from Wildwood and 150 Mile,” Deane added.
“It was great to see all of the fire departments in there and they actually managed to get the fire down. It’s kind of worrisome when we get into an older part of town where a lot of the buildings are wood constructed and they’re susceptible to burning down, so the fact that they kept the fire just to those two buildings is amazing.”