It took just a couple of days to tear down the aged Oasis Motel in Ponoka.
It appears excavators were on site of the Oasis Motel starting Jan. 12 and it didn’t take long to bring the building down. As of Jan. 13 there was a ‘For Sale’ sign up on the property that sits on Highway 2A across from Tim Hortons.
The future of the motel was uncertain ever since a fire took out several rooms almost one year ago on Jan. 23, 2016. The aftermath of the fire put 10 people out of a home and the rooms remained charred and untouched over the course of the year.
While those individuals were out of a home, it is believed there were still patrons living in the undamaged parts of the building.
About nine months later Alberta Health Services issued an order to vacate the building as it was deemed unfit for human habitation. The health inspection report, dated Oct. 18, 2016, alleges five conditions were injurious or dangerous to the public health.
On top of those five conditions there were an additional 29 breaches of the Public Health Act and the Housing Regulation, where the inspector deemed the motel unfit for human habitation. The occupants were ordered to vacate the premises by Nov. 30 and the owner ordered to undertake an extensive list to repair the issues.
Among the five issues considered dangerous to public health, there was no smoke alarm in a converted garage unit, there was extensive smoke damage in two units — presumably from the structure fire, various fire code violations as identified by the town fire chief, safety code violations identified by a safety codes officer including disrepair in the building structure and a bedroom door in the converted garage did not open from the inside.
In addition, AHS alleges the breaches showed portable space heaters were the main source of heat for three units while hot plates were the main source of heat for the garage unit. That same garage unit appears to have had some other issues such as single pane glass, below the minimum for human dwelling in the winter, as well as damaged doors and uninsulated doors.
On another unit the metal exterior of a gas wall furnace had a surface temperature of 80 degrees C and had melted the exterior siding, states the report.
The report also indicates there was evidence of mould, rooms did not have adequate food preparation areas and there were structural and plumbing issues.
One tenant observed the entry pests in their room with entry of stray cats from underneath the area of the tub of unit 23. The report says a deer mouse was observed as well as, “Observed large amount of dead and live flies in the washroom of unit 20. Duct tape has been installed between the south wall and floor to prevent entry of ants into the unit.”
The order was to vacate the premises until ordered work was completed, a total of 31 items.
A previous inspection of the motel about one month before provided some orders, which were followed.
An attempt to contact the owner was unsuccessful.
The property is listed at $279,000.
—–This story was updated Jan. 18 detailing the recent building inspections by Alberta Heath Services—–