Sunday, October 1, 2023

Hazardous materials slow Lethbridge Hotel demolition, fire investigation continues

Demolition of the Lethbridge Hotel is expected to restart early next week, however, City of Lethbridge officials say the age of the building and the presence of asbestos means the work could take between six and nine days to complete.

“Working with Alberta Environment, Occupational Health and Safety and other specialists, City staff remain focused on protecting the safety of public and workers during the demolition,” reads a news release from the city. “The work will be dependent on weather and high winds may impede the speed at which this work can be safely completed. There will be heavy machinery in the area with debris being hauled away throughout the demolition.”

Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services continue to investigate the cause of the fire, which broke out on Feb. 24.

BACKGROUND: Public urged to avoid area as demolition begins on vacant downtown building destroyed by fire

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The city says investigators are also still working on an investigation into a fire which destroyed the Bow On Tong building downtown in January.

READ MORE: Fire at Bow On Tong huge loss for the community: historical society

“These investigations will take significant effort and time with extensive safety protocols required,” the city says. The Bow On Tong has already been demolished and officials have not shared information on the cause of the fire.

Crews began fencing areas near the Lethbridge Hotel on Thursday in preparation for demolition work. Officials say crews will work to get the demolition done as quickly as possible to minimize effects on surrounding businesses.

“It is safe for businesses to remain open and for customers to visit throughout the demolition. If, at any time, there are safety concerns, public and businesses will be notified immediately,” the city says.

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