Fire Hazard Realized at Pantages with Fire on July 27th

Three fire trucks arrived at the Pantages demolition site last night, about 10pm. Rider, who has been telling the City about the demolition site being a massive fire hazard – see below) got an email about 11pm and drove down to the site. Firetrucks were gone, so he spoke to the manager at the Brandiz pub, who
said 3 trucks and at least one firefighter went up the truck ladder and down into the Pantages building. He knew nothing further. Firemen at the Main & Powell Fire Station have confirmed what the pub manager said, but said it wasn’t their station that responded because they were on another call. They cited ‘privacy’ issues when Rider asked what station responded. Presumably the incident was a reported fire, intruder(s), or both.

Rider wrote to City Council and asked that they and CoV Inspection staff or Mayor and Council– investigate last night’s incident and tell Marc Williams/Worthington Properties/Studio One
Architects that:

1) Barriers to intruders must be greatly improved at both the Pantages shell and the debris field.
2) Combustible material in the Pantages and on the debris field must be wetted down regularly.

Rider’s earlier email on July 20th

Please tell the owner to clean up this site because it is a fire hazard.

The site is on the south side of Hastings near Main, and comprises the Pantages building and four smaller adjacent lots. The brick walls of the 5-storey Pantages still stand, but the roof is gone. There’s considerable fuel inside. The four smaller buildings are demolished except for their facades facing Hastings. On the other side, a flimsy temporary fence separates the debris field from a lane. The lot is covered in woody debris, some of it gathered into 3′-4′ piles.

Demolitions in Vancouver are governed by the CSA Standard “Code of Practice for Safety in Demolition of Structures,” which says under 3.2.4. Fire Protection:

3.2.4.2. All combustible debris shall be removed as promptly as is practicable.

Problems

The visible debris on this site has been there since the StopWork order was issued, about 30 June — three weeks ago. The debris that’s not easily visible is inside the Pantages building, and may be especially dangerous. The Regent Hotel is flush against the Pantages, and any fire in the roofless Pantages would be an immediate risk to the Regent and its residents.

The smoke from a fire anywhere on this site would be a hazard to the residents of the several surrounding hotels. Besides wood, combustible material includes plastic, fabric, linoleum, etc.

Actions

1) Please acknowledge receipt of this email.

2) Please inspect both the empty lot and the interior of each floor of the Pantages, noting accumulations of “combustible debris” cited in 3.2.4.2 of the CSA Code of Practice for Safety in Demolition of Structures.

3) If you find there are fire hazards of any sort, please inform the owner and request immediate remediation, including a more effective fencing system.

Thank you,
Rider Cooey
604-872-1382 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              604-872-1382      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

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