What’s known in Invermere as “the old Dobson house” bit the dust on Saturday, June 2, as part of a planned structural collapse that doubled as a joint training exercise for Invermere Fire Rescue and several other Kootenay fire departments.
The building, located near the Invermere Fire Rescue training grounds in the industrial area of Invermere, had been purchased by the District of Invermere a few years ago, but DOI mayor Gerry Taft said that he didn’t feel that they were well-suited as landlords, and hadn’t had a positive experience with the building. As a result, the building was without a tenant for about the last year, and while it was still structurally sound, the decision was made to collapse the building after it became a target for vandals and potentially squatters. There are also plans to extend the roadway through that area, so Taft said it made sense to get rid of what was essentially an unwanted structure.
For fire chief Roger Ekman, he felt it was a perfect opportunity for a structural collapse training course, where firefighters can get hands-on experience dealing with search and rescue operations inside collapsed structures.