Advertisement

‘A big crumbling and a big crash and bang’: Big White hotel roof collapses

Click to play video 'Hotel roof collapses up at Kelowna’s Big White' Hotel roof collapses up at Kelowna’s Big White
The roof of a hotel up at Big White collapsed early Monday morning while people were sleeping inside.

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.

READ MORE: Grass fire at Kelowna’s Bertram Creek Park deemed suspicious

“Then the fire alarm went off, so we had to obviously evacuate. We just grabbed our clothes,” he added.

Steve Beskidny / Global News
Steve Beskidny / Global News. Steve Beskidny / Global News

There were a number of people outside the building when the fire department first arrived, Big White fire chief Chris Cormack said.

Story continues below advertisement

Firefighters evacuated everybody else still inside the building.

READ MORE: Penticton RCMP investigate possible shots fired at apartment complex

“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.

Click to play video 'RCMP apprehend suspect after firearms incident' RCMP apprehend suspect after firearms incident
RCMP apprehend suspect after firearms incident

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.

READ MORE: Support pours in for Kelowna family of toddler fatally struck by car

“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.

Story continues below advertisement

“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.

READ MORE: B.C. price gougers reselling medical supplies amid COVID-19 to face $2K fines: minister

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.