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UPDATE: No one injured after house partially collapses

Firefighters and paramedics survey site of a house that partially collapsed at 1950 Estevan Rd. Thursday. No one is believed to be in the residence, after an initial search of the house.  - CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin
Firefighters and paramedics survey site of a house that partially collapsed at 1950 Estevan Rd. Thursday. No one is believed to be in the residence, after an initial search of the house.
— image credit: CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Firefighters and paramedics rushed to the scene of a home that had partially collapsed in Nanaimo’s Brechin Hill neighbourhood Thursday.

The incident happened shortly after 3 p.m. when nearly half of a home at 1950 Estevan Rd. caved in.

Daniel Bossart, who has lived next door since 2004, said he watched his neighbour’s house deteriorate for a number of years, and the section that collapsed had been visibly sagging for about the last 18 months.

“It started with the deck,” Bossart said. “It started to sag and then some holes formed in the roof and you could see the water getting in there and then the walls started to buckle.”

Bossard said he called the fire department when the section of the house finally sagged in on itself Thursday.

Capt. Bill Eggers, of Nanaimo Fire Rescue, said firefighters did an initial investigation and found no one inside, but were unable to determine immediately if anyone might have been trapped in the collapsed portion of the house.

Tips from neighbours suggested no one was home.

“We’re fairly confident at this point no one was in there,” Eggers said.

B.C. Hydro was called in to cut power to the building and Nanaimo city bylaw inspectors were brought in to investigate whether the house should be condemned.

Randy Churchill, city bylaws services manager, said the city has now posted a notice prohibiting occupation of the house on the property.

“We’re in contact with the owner,” Churchill said. “What happens then is they have to come to the city. There’s going to be a requirement for a structural engineering report to establish what the issues are and we will work with the owner to make a determination on how to move forward.”

An engineering report will help determine whether the portion of the house that remains standing can be salvaged.

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