A strange odour at a West Kelowna apartment building prompted the evacuation of 150 residents on Sunday morning, April 18. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)

A strange odour at a West Kelowna apartment building prompted the evacuation of 150 residents on Sunday morning, April 18. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)

Strange smell at West Kelowna apartment prompts evacuation of 150 residents, pets

150 residents ordered evacuated from a West Kelowna apartment building early Sunday morning

An apartment building in West Kelowna was evacuated early Sunday morning (April 18) due to a strange odour.

Around 4 a.m., West Kelowna Fire Rescue was called to 3623 Elliot Road, and when crews arrived on the scene, they immediately evacuated 150 residents and their pets.

“I was just sleeping in my bedroom, and there were just a lot of fire alarms going off,” said Joel Landa, a resident of the building. “Once we got outside, police and fire crews came; everyone was very confused and didn’t realize what was going on.”

Right away, the regional hazardous materials team from the Kelowna Fire Department was called in.

“I didn’t smell anything when I was in the building, but when I came out, I did smell an odour coming from the building. It smelled like gas,” Landa said.

The Emergency Support Services Team (ESS) is housing residents of the building at Royal LePage Place arena.

West Kelowna Fire Rescue and HazMat crews continue to search for the odour’s source. The building remains evacuated as of 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.

“The building was swept and visually inspected all suites on the affected floors. Nothing was found. While some indications were received, none were strong or persistent enough to identify the exact nature or cause,” said West Kelowna fire chief Jason Brolund.

Another update is expected by 3 p.m. Plans are in place to provide the residents a place to sleep if the building remains evacuated overnight.

Although there is an emergency plan in place, Landa said he’s nervous.

“Honestly, with this whole pandemic, I’m not feeling too good about it,” he said. Landa is a healthcare worker and works with children who have special needs, many of whom have compromised immune systems. He said he has to be mindful of his physical interactions to ensure the children aren’t put at risk.

“As of right now, I’m just envisioning 150 people in one space and I’m nervous about it,” he explained.

As of yet, no one has been let back into the building to gather their personal belongings.

Kelowna Capital News will update this story as soon as more information becomes available.

fire

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin checking drivers on BC highways

Four check points are set up Thursday May 6 around the province

Similkameen Elementary Secondary School (google maps)
More potential exposures dates added to Keremeos school by Interior Health

The entire school week from April 26 to 30 now had a potential exposure

City Hall
Penticton council votes to shift tax burden to businesses

“The businesses staying afloat are what’s going to keep our community afloat,” said coun. Watt

Penticton Western News editor Monique Tamminga got her Astra Zeneca vaccine on Monday, May 3, 2021 at a Penticton pharmacy. Vaccines and appointments are available at most Penticton pharmacies this week.
More than 22K Penticton residents vaccinated

More than 35,000 people jabbed in South Okanagan so far

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
New temporary outdoor shelter in Kelowna opens

The new area on Richter Street and Weddell Place replaces the Baillie Avenue site

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Most Read