No injuries were reported as nearly 20 residents were evacuated from the Cranbrook Hotel due to a fire on Thursday afternoon, Dec. 10.
Firefighters arrived on scene at 1 p.m. with two fire trucks, and personnel began an interior attack on the blaze, which had started inside one of the suites, according to a news release.
Firefighters also determined that the fire had spread into the structure of the building, and work continued into Thursday evening to ensure it is completely extinguished.
Gray smoke billowed out of the rear of the building, but no flames were visible from the street.
The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has been activated to support those who were evacuated from the building. An emergency reception centre has been set up at the Heritage Inn and Interior Health and Emergency Support Services are working to arrange safe accommodations for those who were displaced.
“Both Fire and Emergency Services and the City of Cranbrook are grateful to the support of the Salvation Army for providing transportation, blankets, and hot drinks to the evacuees,” reads a press release issued by the City of Cranbrook. “Thank you also to the EOC staff, the Regional District of East Kootenay, Interior Health, City Public Works, the Cranbrook RCMP, BC Ambulance, and many other responder teams for providing assistance. It is greatly appreciated.”
The cause of the fire is unknown, but an investigation is expected to begin Thursday night or on Friday.
If anyone is interested in donating clothing or food items, the City recommends donating through the Salvation Army or other charitable organizations, which are already set up and equipped to handle these kinds of emergency situations. The Salvation Army is specifically requesting gift cards for the evacuees from places such as Wal-Mart or Superstore, as well as any other general donations people wish to make.
Do not drop off items at the Heritage Inn; they are unable to manage those items or store them properly.
The Cranbrook Hotel is one of the city’s oldest, and one of its originals — more than 120 years old. It has undergone many changes over the decades, but the basic structure is the same.