Shirley Boomer works her way through a pile of linen Tuesday that has been donated to victims of the Skyline Manor fire. The Salvation Army is presently not accepting any more items at the distribution centre in the old Coopers building.

Shirley Boomer works her way through a pile of linen Tuesday that has been donated to victims of the Skyline Manor fire. The Salvation Army is presently not accepting any more items at the distribution centre in the old Coopers building.

Structural integrity under review

More may be known today about the status of a building that was gutted by fire.

Firefighters will meet with the insurance adjustor and a structural engineer at Skyline Manor, which was destroyed Feb. 25.

“This will provide us with a better assessment of the structure,” said Brent Watson, emergency program co-ordinator.

Firefighters have been unable to get into the 31A Street building to determine the cause of the fire because of the progressive collapse that has been occurring.

It’s believed that the layer of ice created by water being doused on to the blaze has been holding the building together. But warm weather has led the ice to melt.

“Water is just pouring out like a river. It will likely weaken the structure further,” he said.

Safety concerns have also prevented firefighters from allowing tenants to enter the building to try and salvage any personal items.

“We still have fire equipment in the building we can’t get out,” said Watson.

Watson will not speculate on when crews may be able to go inside, or if they ever will get the green light.

“The building could collapse at any time,” he said.

A fence has been installed around the property and security guards are present at all times.

“There have been no breaches of the perimeter that we know off. We take security very seriously,” said Watson.

The public has been donating items to the fire victims, but that effort is winding down.

“At the moment, we are putting a hold on receiving items from the community,” said David MacBain, with the Salvation Army.

“Once the affected residents have selected what they need, we will reassess the situation.”

A distribution centre has been opened at the former Coopers on 43rd Avenue.

“The sales floor is entirely covered in product. We thank Vernon for its support,” said MacBain.

Evacuees are asked to visit the distribution centre by Friday to select household items.

And all former Skyline Manor tenants have now found temporary or permanent housing.

“Rents and other costs for residents who have limited or no other means are being covered through donations by compassionate Vernon neighbours,” said John Richey, with Red Cross.

Cash donations for the fire victims can be made at the Salvation Army at 3303 32nd Ave. or by going to www.vernonbcfoodbank.com.

Donations can also be made at the Red Cross office, 2809 44th Ave., or at Valley First, VantageOne and Interior Savings credit unions.