Edmonton

Penhorwood demolition bittersweet for condo owners

Demolition of the ill-fated Penhorwood condominium complex in Fort McMurray began today.

Penhorwood comes down

7 years ago
Duration 0:35
Demolition of condo complex begins 0:35

Demolition of the ill-fated Penhorwood condominium complex in Fort McMurray began today.

It’s expected crews will take about a month to knock down the seven buildings, once home to hundreds of people.

Residents were forced out of their homes in the middle of the night almost four years ago, when engineers came to the abrupt conclusion that the buildings, less than 10 years old, were in immediate danger of collapse.

“It's been stressful, and I'm one of the lucky ones,” said Bob Brace, a heavy equipment operator for Suncor.

Brace said he's out about $150,000, and doesn't think he'll ever get much money back.

“I make a good wage. I'm able to bounce back from this. There are a lot of people who were hurt very badly.”

He knows one resident who took possession of her condo just 10 days before the evacuation.

Brace said residents have been let down by the developer, the engineers and government officials, whose job is to make ensure the buildings were properly built.

“I'm pissed off but what do you do?” he said. “You kind of scratch your head. You've got elected officials who say, ‘Oh well, buyer beware.’

“Well, we've lost our homes. How can you be so callous?”    

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