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City councillor looks to speed up derelict building demolition process as another vacant home burns

Click to play video: 'After another vacant building fire, city councillor proposes change'
After another vacant building fire, city councillor proposes change
No injuries are being reported in a fire at a vacant home on Manitoba Avenue Monday morning. And one city councillor is taking charge in trying to get those hazardous eyesores removed a little quicker. – Nov 21, 2022

No injuries are being reported in a fire at a vacant home on Manitoba Avenue Monday morning.

Fire crews were called to fire at the home in the 300 block of Manitoba Avenue just before 11 a.m.

Read more: Two hospitalized after fire at Manitoba Housing high-rise

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Heavy smoke and fire forced firefighters to attack the blaze from the outside, the city said in a release later in the day.

The house is expected to be a total loss, the city says. Randall Paull/Global News
Click to play video: 'Fire consumes vacant home on Manitoba Avenue'
Fire consumes vacant home on Manitoba Avenue

Officials say crews also worked to keep the fire from spreading to neighbouring homes.

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The fire has since been brought under control but firefighters are expected to remain at the site into the afternoon Monday.

The house is expected to be a total loss, the city says, and will be demolished.

Read more: Vacant Winnipeg duplex goes up in flames Monday morning

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One city councillor is trying to take action to improve the situation.

Daniel McIntyre councillor Cindy Gilroy introduced a motion at a recent city hall committee meeting which would shorten the amount of time between when a demolition permit is applied for and when the building can actually be torn down.

Right now, the wait time is about 6 months.

She says one way to do that is lift a requirement for those applying for demolition to have a plan to rebuild.

“We do want that, we want that in lot of areas, but in areas like the inner city that’s really struggling with a lot of its vacant and derelict buildings, we want to get to them faster and have a quicker process to make sure we can tear them down, and remove that debris as fast as we can,” Gilroy said on 680 CJOB’s The Jim Toth Show Monday afternoon.

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And if owners don’t take action on their unclean or unsafe properties, Gilroy wants to see stickier fines tacked right on to property tax bills – so they’re harder to evade.
From April 5 – October 31, 2022, WFPS has responded to 62 fires in vacant buildings.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg emergency crews tackle Sherbrook Street fire'
Winnipeg emergency crews tackle Sherbrook Street fire

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