After a massive fire that caused an estimated $2.6 million in damage, almost 300 residents living in an Edmonton condominium building have been ordered to leave for at least six months because investigators discovered asbestos in the drywall and ceilings. A worker soldering a pipe accidentally started the fire, which only damaged two top-floor condominium units. However, the 14 floors below the fire experienced significant water damage because of the firefighting efforts.
When insurance adjusters began to investigate the damage, they had found that asbestos contained within the building had been disturbed and it would take anywhere from four to six months before the building would be safe to live in again. Several local community organizations along with the Red Cross have stepped in to help the residents stay warm over the holidays – some of which took to social media to demand more technical information on why they had to be removed from the building instead of the asbestos abatement being done in phases to be less disruptive.
One resident is an architect and says she has experience with asbestos and the problem isn’t a big deal, but the insurance company told the Edmonton Journal that if it were possible to avoid such a disruption they would have gone that route and that the asbestos dangers are real – and serious.
In addition, their work my end up blocking stairwells and creating evacuation issues if there were a fire, which is a major safety hazard. Asbestos is sometimes called a “land mine” – it poses little danger when left undisturbed and unnoticed in areas of a building or a home where it can’t be touched or accessed. However, as evidenced by the Edmonton condominium fire, accidents can happen that bring the asbestos dangers to the surface.
Home and building owners can save themselves a lot of hassle, headaches and fatal physical health problems – like mesothelioma – by having the asbestos removed by a certified asbestos removal company before it becomes an even bigger problem.
Should you suspect the presence of vermiculite or asbestos in your home or building, Contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca – Toronto’s asbestos removal company – at (416) 818-9414.
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