New Westminster, B.C. Gas Works roof collapse

Pictures and video on-line show that the roof of a 130-year-old abandoned building has collapsed in New Westminster, B.C.

Built in 1886, brick building at 12th Street and 3rd Avenue has been unused for years

This photo from @NewWestGuests on Twitter shows firefighters at the site of the collapsed roof of the 1886 Gas Works building. (@NewWestGuests)

Pictures and video on-line show the roof of a 130-year-old abandoned building has collapsed in New Westminster, B.C.

The building was built in 1886 at 12th Street and 3rd Avenue and was originally constructed to manufacture coal gas for the lighting of city streets according to a 2009 report on the City of New Westminster's web site.

At the time, the city was considering asking the province, which owns the land, to gift it to New Westminster so that it could potentially be developed into a park, however the site has not been developed since.

Assistant Deputy Chief Rob Dick with New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services says the building hasn't been occupied for at least 20 years.

"We don't have a reason why it collapsed," he said "But maybe because of the weather and the high winds from earlier on in the week and then the excessive rain, the large amount of rain we've had, the roof collapsed."

Dick said the primary concern for emergency responders was to confirm nobody was inside when the roof came down.

Now the city will contact the province to figure out what to do with the building.

"Because we can't leave it in the state it's in, but that will be the owner's decision, along with I guess city staff, what the next steps are," he said.

Meanwhile Dick says he can't guarantee more of the building won't collapse but believes if that does happen it will be contained within the fenced off site, adding that security guards are monitoring the area.


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