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Second Rutland fire in Kelowna within a week forces dozens from their apartments

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The roof is gone and it remains to be seen if everyone got out safely following a major structure fire in Rutland.

Fire broke out at 788 Rutland Road north – the Legacy 2 – building at around 4:30 p.m.

Flames were shooting through the roof when crews arrived.

The entire building had to be evacuated and officials are conducting a roll-call to determine if everyone made it out safely.

The cause of the fire is not known at this time.

Fire Chief Jeff Carlisle said Tuesday night it’s too early to say whether anybody has been injured or if all the residents of the four-storey, 64-unit building have been accounted for, adding about 70 firefighters were battling the flames at the height of the blaze.

“The roof on the entire building is pretty much gone,” he said. “I would estimate that there will be significant smoke and water damage throughout the building.”

Evacuees were to register with emergency social services, where they will receive accomodation and support for 72 hours.

It’s the second major structure fire in Rutland.

Last week, fire broke out at a Rutland apartment complex on Franklyn Road forcing the evacuation of 40 units and destroying at least two of them.

The cause of that fire was linked to smoking materials.

Kinda seems suspicious in some ways..But I'd wager more on an accident in this case..hopefully.

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This is actually interesting news to me; I was going to rent one of the top floor suites in this building for school next September, but found something closer to campus that was more convenient. Lucky me!

I wouldn't target it as suspicious, all it takes is a faulty propane tank or a lit cigarette falling onto a hot patio.

Sadly, I do know others that live in there and didn't have content insurance. On top of that, there's about 3 feet of water in the parkade and so there's flood damages as well. Here's what a worker posted on the Kelowna subreddit:

http://tinyurl.com/legacyfire (tinyurl to sensor language in link)

Hi. I work for Kelowna Condominium Services Ltd. and I just spent 6 hours on site helping deal with everything. Was able to leave around 9:00pm, but our hard working fire department personnel will be on site until the wee hours of the morning putting out hot spots. So sorry for everybody there and I hope you have content insurance if you are a renter.

If you haven't already, register with Emergency Social Services as soon as possible. They are set up at the Salvation Army Church at Sutherland and Burtch, right across the street from our office - you should know where that is! ESS will provide 72 hours worth of housing and food, as well vouchers for clothing, to give you time to make alternate arrangements and/or work with your insurance company for accommodation. There is a meeting tomorrow evening at the Salvation Army; all residents and owners are encouraged to attend. If you cannot attend, send someone in your stead - but they must have a signed letter from you stating they are authorized to receive information and vouchers for your suite. They will be able to provide more information and will be the primary line of communication for crucial information, particularly when you will be able to enter the building (escorted) to salvage stuff.

Know this - if you had a vehicle in the parkade, you will likely need to be in touch with ICBC. All the vehicles down there will likely have flood damage from the massive amounts of water used to put out the fire. I understand there may have been as much as 3 feet of water in the parkade. It is also likely to be at least 5 days before anyone is allowed into the building to attempt to recover contents.

And to clarify one of the errors on the news...

There are 62 suites in the building, not 45, and we were able to account for almost everybody in the building. The fire department was able to give an all-clear for the suites of the residents we couldn't contact.

The roof is all but gone, and most of the fourth floor is as well (mostly due to the burning roof collapsing into it). Much of the 3rd floor is badly burned and part of it has also collapsed. The remainder of the building will have heavy water damage.

I have more, but I'm not sure what else I'm allowed to divulge as of yet.

PS. Everybody else - this is the #1 lesson for having insurance, and taking proper care of your stuff. One person with a faulty propane tank has caused 100+ people to become homeless and lose most or all of what they have. Those without insurance will have no recourse, particularly renters as their landlord's insurance will not cover tenant losses, only a place to stay.

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