Construction resumes after fire guts hotel development

Fire engulfed the under-construction Sandman Hotel on Lorne Avenue in mid-April. Julien Fournier / Global News

It’s back to work at a hotel construction site gutted by fire earlier this month.

On April 18, fire crews were called to the site on Lorne Avenue and Circle Drive South just before 6:30 a.m. CT to find the top floors of the development engulfed in flames. The blaze was declared under control three hours later.

READ MORE: Major structure fire at Saskatoon hotel construction site

The site is unique to Saskatoon as it’s one of the first six-storey, wood framed buildings in the city.

Crews say the concrete walls acted as a fire wall; it’s one of the first six-story wood structures in Saskatoon. Adam MacVicar / Global News

“The engineer was through to check the safety of the building and all the concrete is OK,” Ray Runtz, site supervisor for Sinewy Construction, said. “We have concrete walls on a wood frame building, and that saved a lot of the building.”

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According to Runtz, the concrete walls acted as a fire stop and damage was limited to the eastern and centre sections of the building.

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“We’re continuing on the west side above the restaurant and some of the east side too,” Runtz said. “But it’s the centre part that we have to rebuild some floors.”

Cause and damage have not yet been determined, something fire officials admitted they may never get to the bottom of due to the integrity of the structure. Runtz and his team have been working to secure the building since being let back onto the site.

READ MORE: Fire causes ‘significant damage’ to two homes, car on Keeley Crescent

“First step was to secure the walls so the walls wouldn’t move after the fact,” Runtz said. “The second step is to clean up inside and then to rebuild inside.”

Sinewy Construction is currently waiting on engineers to further develop a plan on how to move forward with the rebuild and access the building safely.

Once a plan is developed, crews will work to fix and replace sections of the floors on the worst damaged areas. The roof will also need to be replaced.

According to work crews, the site is set to be a new Sandman Hotel. Global News reached out to the hotel’s developer, Northland Properties Corporation, but were not available for comment.


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