The investigation into this month’s fire at the Kerr Apartments remains at a standstill from the fire department’s end.
Deputy fire chief Bob Slade says hazardous material assessment and asbestos abatement work is underway, and engineers are seeking quotes for demolition or alteration of the building’s rear. The process will likely take a few weeks.
Officials believe the fire started in the basement, but the point of origin is still under a mound of debris.
While more than enough clothing and goods has been collected for the building’s former tenants, they could still use things like computers, electronics, and recreational equipment — providing they are newish and functional.
“Those kinds of donations we definitely want to promote,” says Allison Alder, chair of an independent, multi-agency committee that is addressing the unmet needs of residents.
“Anything that helps people take care of themselves as they get through this.”
The Salvation Army is accepting furniture, but asks that donors call first.
Our Daily Bread continues to offer free lunch and dinner to the former Kerr residents through the end of the month.
After that, according to Michelle Fillion, they will be back to their regular hours, providing lunch weekdays.
It will continue to be free for Kerr victims until February 15. Fillion says they have been getting about 10 to 12 people per meal.
“It’s been pretty consistent,” she says. “Lunch hour is maybe a little less.”
She thanks everyone for food donations and adds they are still accepting non-perishable grocery items that can be stored until residents find places to live.
The West Kootenay Landlords Society has donated $1,750 to the Kerr victims.
President Trevor Jenkinson says many members already made personal contributions before they passed around the hat at their last meeting.
“We had some extra funds that we decided to donate and then a lot of members stepped up with additional donations,” he says.
“Even though we don’t have any connection to the Kerr, I’m quite impressed by the individual generosity.”
The society of property owners and managers promotes landlord-tenant relations.
Two displaced residents are still bunking at the SPCA.
Otis and Angel survived the fire, but their family moved back to Ontario and couldn’t afford to bring them along.
Anyone interested in giving the cats a home can stop by the adoption centre on Falls Street, behind the bowling alley.
A fundraiser for the Kerr effort at the Spiritbar last night saw performances by Roxy, Lucas Myers, and the Lazy Poker Blues Band.
Meanwhile, Craft Connection is collecting items for a silent auction that will run from February 1 to 12.