Residents of the Clarence House apartment building are under the care of the city’s emergency support services (ESS), following an early morning fire.
The ESS reception centre was activated to help the evacuated residents with the resources they need.
“In partnership with Emergency Management BC, if they need accommodation support, if they need food support, or anything like that,” said Adam Goodwin, Penticton’s social services specialists.
Two dozen residents have registered so far with the ESS reception. Not every evacuee is required to register with the ESS, with some instead finding support with friends or family.
The support services will provide evacuated residents with assistance for the next 72 hours, with additional support beyond that decided on an individual’s needs.
After the Penticton Fire Department has finished their investigation of the building and the fire, they will begin working with residents to assist in the retrieval of some personal possessions, said fire chief Larry Watkinson.
“If they can give us the unit number and last known location of their wallets, glasses or whatever prescriptions that they need then we will assist them in getting that out.”
The fire started around 4 a.m. with firefighters continuing to douse hot spots by 8 a.m.
Once the fire was out and a structural engineer deemed it was safe to go in, fire services located the bodies of two people.
The blaze does not appear to be criminal in nature, according to the RCMP. The cause of the fire has yet to be confirmed by the fire department or RCMP.
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