New Brunswick

Temporary shelter set up for displaced Miramichi apartment tenants

Residents of a Miramichi apartment building, evacuated after a weekend fire, won't be returning to their apartments as they had hoped.  

Red Cross has opened the Lord Beaverbrook Arena as a shelter

The apartment building is named the Skyway Lodge and is located at 5 Cole Crescent. It is adjacent to a building at 15 Cole Crescent, which was evacuated last month over safety concerns. (Google Maps)

Residents of a Miramichi apartment building, evacuated after a weekend fire, won't be returning to their apartments as soon as they had hoped.  

The Red Cross has instead decided to open a temporary shelter in a nearby hockey arena to help those in need.  

The 50 tenants had to leave the 40-unit apartment building on July 20 during a fire in a lower level. Power to the structure was cut as a safety precaution.  

The building known as Skyway Lodge is located at 5 Cole Cres. It is adjacent to a building that was evacuated last month over unsafe living conditions. 

Jon Spicer, emergency management coordinator with the Red Cross, said the agency has been helping 40 people with lodging. The Miramichi Rodd Hotel has allowed the Red Cross to use two conference rooms. The shelter will be set up in the Lord Beaverbrook Arena. 

"It will remain open for the foreseeable future," said Spicer, who added he was unsure how many people would show up to make use of the shelter. 

"We may see some choose to make other arrangements, but we're ready for up to 40 to 50 people." 

The shelter is set up with cots for sleeping and people will be able to eat their meals there as well. 

Repairs being made

While Spicer was unsure about the damage to the apartment building, he said the Red Cross was waiting for direction from the fire marshal and social development. 

"I know they are working on the building and the repairs that need to be done at this time," said Spicer. "I don't expect that this will be too too long but we're ready for a couple of weeks." 

Tenants from the adjacent building at 15 Cole Cres. are also waiting to return to their apartments after the fire marshal ordered them to leave in mid-June because of unsafe living conditions. 

Spicer said some tenants have remained in the area in the hopes the repairs can soon be made. Others have gone to stay with family and friends in other areas. 

While it has been busy, Spicer said about 100 Red Cross volunteers are helping out.

He added that people who want to help displaced tenants can make donations to the Red Cross.

With files from Shift New Brunswick