Clean up of a Penticton heritage house burned to the ground in a gas explosion will take place sooner rather than later now that a demolition permit has been issued.
“We are hopeful it will be demolished in less than 30 days and that mess will be clean up,” said Ken Kunka, deputy director of development services. “The insurance company is now on board and that wasn’t the case until recently. They will be cleaning up that unsightly mess so the neighbours don’t have to see it anymore.”
The 110-year-old Warren House at 434 Lakeshore Drive was levelled by a gas explosion in March, leaving behind mounds of fire debris. The city received complaints from neighbouring buildings that the site was unsightly and posed a health hazard with council deeming it a nuisance property on June 7.
City council gave the owners until July 11 to remove the mess.
But the Ruutels who own the property wrote a letter to the city requesting an extension to September or October given what they felt was an unrealistic timeline to find a contractor to remove the charred remains.
The Ruutels also told council in the letter that originally their insurer wasn’t communicating with them at all, which led them to launch a lawsuit against the insurance company.
Recently, the Ruutels did hear from their insurer which has now taken over responsibility for the site clean up.
At the July 5 meeting, council voted unanimously to keep the July 11 clean up deadline with the idea that they will give some leeway as long as they can see progress is being made.
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