Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Info and updates about Marquis apartment evacuation due to high Carbon Monoxide levels

Update 11:40 a.m. January 19
At 10 a.m. this morning residents of the Marquis were advised that they will be allowed to reoccupy their suites at 1 p.m. Residents are to go directly to the Marquis and can access their suites unaccompanied. Organization and execution of the reoccupation has been handed over the Property Management company. Residents can call Montgomery Ross & Associates at 403-234-7556 ext. 253 for updates and additional information. The media can call 403-234-7556 and ask for Susan.

The Information Centre at the Kerby Centre is now closed. Residents will not be allowed back in their suites before 1pm.

Water levels in the parking garage continue to  receded. CFD is pulling their equipment off scene and the property management company is responsible for continuing to pump the water out.

Elevators remain out-of-order and residents are allowed access through the East entrance only (building lobby is also closed). Security crews will be patrolling stairwells in case any residents are in need of assistance as they climb the stairs.

Fire alarms in individual suites are operational, however, building-wide fire notification systems are not operating. While the building-wide system is being reinstated residents may hear test alarms. Security crews have air horns to notify residents in the event of an emergency. This process is in accordance with the Fire Prevention Bureau and Development & Building Approval processes.

Parking on site is still unavailable, however residents are able to park at the old science centre site free of charge.

Update 6 p.m. January 18
Due to the levels of water still in the building , and the fact that the commercial pumps have yet to be installed, residents of the Marquis  (1108 – 6th Ave SW) will have to make alternate arrangements for lodging tonight. While residents are being made aware of the situation if they are currently at the information centre they are being made aware of the situation. However, there will be a more formal update at the Information Centre at the Kerby Centre at 6 p.m.

Residents will have the opportunity to be escorted to their suites to collect essential items needed overnight and tend to pets starting at 6:30pm. They are encouraged to register at the information centre first as they will be allowed access floor by floor. Residents are asked to check in at the Kerby Centre, and they will be bussed to the Marquis building. They will be escorted by firefighters who will be checking carbon monoxide levels in each suite to ensure safe air qualities, although we don’t anticipate this being a concern.

The information centre will be open for residents until 11 p.m.

Residents are encouraged to call the Property Management Company Montgomery Ross & Associates at 403-234-7556 extension 253 for updates.

Re-entry is anticipated to be mid-day Thursday.

Update 3:40 p.m. January 18
Ken Uzeloc with The Calgary Fire Department and Frank Frigo with Water Services addressed the media about the apartment evacuation.

Update 3:35 p.m. January 18
Carbon monoxide levels in the building are no longer an issue. The current concern is that water continues to flow into the building at a higher rate than current pumps can accommodate. More powerful pumps are being brought on scene by the property management company and are anticipated to be installed by 4:00 p.m. Hopefully, this will reduce the water levels and a decision around re-occupancy will be made after the inspections have advised it is safe to do so.

Vehicles were moved from the resident parkade including stall numbers:  143, 144, 145, 146, 150, 151, 155. These vehicles are now located at 5th Ave (east of the building) in a Imperial –owned parking lot. Vehicles in the upper-level parkade can be accessed and driven out by their owners.

Building heat has been restored, however there is no elevator service due to the elevator shaft being housed in the basement. Residents can have escorted access at this time to retrieve medication and tend to pet needs. There is not a definite timeline for resident reoccupation and residents are being encouraged to find alternate accommodations for this evening. The Property Management company has contacted several local hotels to ensure space is available. For those unable to find alternate accommodations with friends, family or a hotel, they are asked to speak with the Property Management company, who will assist with finding accommodations.

Another update will be given to residents at 6 p.m. at the information centre at the Kerby Centre (1133 - 7th Avenue SW). We will know more definitive about the potential to return for the evening at 6pm. The Area Alderman’s office (Druh) has been informed.

Traffic Update 3:30 p.m. January 18
6 Avenue S.W. between 10 Street S.W. and 11 Street S.W. will be reduced to two lanes until Thursday, January 19, further updates will be issued as information becomes available.

Updated 12:22 p.m. January 18
A resident information update was held at the Kerby Centre (1133 - 7th Avenue SW) at 11 a.m. this morning.

Residents were advised that an ice jam on the Bow River caused water to enter the building. Pumps in the building produced the carbon monoxide that caused the building to be evacuated. Carbon monoxide levels were not safe but it was a short-term situation and residents were not at risk. The pumps were shut down, and Fire has installed temporary non-fuel pumps. The property manager is working to get people back in the building.

Residents with vehicles on level P2 are permitted to access the building to retrieve their vehicles. Residents with vehicles on level P1 are not currently permitted to access the building to retrieve their vehicles, but access may be allowed shortly. Residents requiring medication or those who have pets are being escorted by the Calgary Fire Department to their residences to retrieve medication and pets. Residents will be allowed back in the building when electric pumps are installed and heating to the building is restored. Elevators are not currently operational. At this point it is unknown when residents will be allowed back into the building. The next resident update will be at 2 p.m.

Residents are advised to check in at the Information Centre at the Kerby Centre.

8:24 a.m. January 18
The Calgary Fire Department is currently in Command of a carbon monoxide leak at a residential building in the 1100 block of 6th Ave S.W. They are in the process of evacuating of up to 400 residents while the building is being cleared of fumes. Calgary Transit and CEMA are on-scene to assist with evacuation efforts and address resident needs.

An Information center has been requested by Incident Command. The Kirby Center has been secured and CEMA Emergency Social Services is staffing this Information Center.

No other assistance has been requested at this time. CEMA will be updating as information is received.

Carbon monoxide and detectors

Carbon monoxide (CO) is caused by the incomplete combustion of fuels such as gasoline, natural gas, propane, and wood. CO is a poisonous gas that is odourless, colourless, tasteless, non-irritating and if inhaled, CO may cause illness or even death.

The first line of defence in preventing CO poisoning is the proper installation, use, maintenance and inspection of your fuel-burning appliances. The Calgary Fire Department (CFD) bly recommends an additional measure of protection by installing approved carbon monoxide detectors.

For more information about Carbon Monoxide detection and safety, please visit

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