The roof of a hotel at Big White collapsed early Monday morning, jolting some people out of their sleep.
Firefighters rushed to an alarm at the Snow Ghost Inn just after 3 a.m. to find that the roof had caved in.
“We just heard basically a big crumbling and a big crash and bang, and by the time we woke up, it had stopped, but it was definitely was loud enough to shake you out of bed,” said Glenn Stevens, who was staying at the lodging.
“Then the fire alarm went off, so we had to obviously evacuate. We just grabbed our clothes,” he added.
There were a number of people outside the building when the fire department first arrived, Big White fire chief Chris Cormack said.
Firefighters evacuated everybody else still inside the building.
“Some people heard some banging and crashing before it went, and other people slept right through it, and didn’t hear anything until we asked them to leave,” Cormack said.
All of the individual units seemed to be in good shape, he added.
“It’s the pool area in the atrium middle part of the building where the collapse was,” Cormack said.
“Big White Ski Resort opened up the Village Centre Mall with their staff, so anybody that was displaced went there in the middle of the night,” he said.
“Others went with family and friends, and the little restaurant opened up to feed them breakfast this morning, and the Canadian Red Cross is contacting those people that were displaced to find lodging and meals for them,” Cormack said.
Nobody will be allowed to enter the building until an engineer signs off that it’s safe to do so, he added.
The cause of the collapse is still under investigation.
However, recent mild temperatures likely caused the snow to weigh heavily on the roof, Cormack said.