North

Hay River highrise clear of asbestos and mould, owner says

The owner of the Mackenzie Place apartment building in Hay River, N.W.T., said the building is now clear of asbestos and mould.

A fire forced the evacuation of more than 100 tenants from the apartment building last March

Harry Satdeo on the 17th floor balcony of his intended unit in the Hay River highrise. He said the building could be open to the leasing process as early as next week, but did not give a date for when prospective tenants could move back in. (Walter Strong/CBC)

The owner of the Mackenzie Place highrise apartment building in Hay River, N.W.T., says the building is now clear of asbestos and mould. 

The building has sat empty since a fire in March 2019, which forced an evacuation that affected more than 100 people. 

Last week, owner Harry Satdeo released two letters from environmental monitoring group Arctic Environmental Services Ltd., that said the building was cleared of mould and asbestos. The company also said it treated one of the suites for residual smoke caused by the fire. 

We can assure you, the investigators are working to resolve the investigation.- N.W.T. RCMP in an email

Last May, the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer put forward a public health order warning residents to stay out of the highrise. A reminder of the public health order was sent out again by the territory's Department of Health and Social Services in December.

Damien Healy, spokesperson for the Health Department, confirmed that the public health order is still in place and will only be lifted once the building's owner meets all the regulatory requirements.

The Mackenzie Place highrise in Hay River showing evidence of fire damage. (Walter Strong/CBC)

Satdeo told the CBC Tuesday that he believes the apartment's leasing process could start next week — but there's still no word on when residents can move back in. When pressed for more details, Satdeo ended the call.

The Hay River Hub published Monday that Satdeo said he's hoping to invite potential tenants to view some of the units in the lower part of the building, and possibly accept some applications.

On a visit to the highrise last August, Satdeo told the CBC that 80 units would be open to tenants in September. 

The Northwest Territories RCMP said in an email response Tuesday that they are still actively investigating the highrise fire.

"We can assure you, the investigators are working to resolve the investigation," the email reads. 

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