Modular Units Provides Homes after Fire

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Modular homes move into Slave Lake, Alberta after fire


Flat-bed trucks have started hauling the first of 400 modular homes into the fire-ravaged town of Slave Lake in northern Alberta.

The units will house 2,000 people who lost their homes when a wildfire wiped out one-third of the community in May.It will take a few months to get the units moved in and hooked up to utilities, Mayor Karina Pillay-Kinnee said s the fourth home rolled into town.Some homeless residents have been staying in motels or campers. Others have squeezed into homes of friends and family. About 200 people have relocated to other communities, said John Sparks, a spokesman with the town’s recovery project. He said the modular units, which boast up to four bedrooms, contain kitchen and laundry appliances but are otherwise empty. The town will organize furniture donations next.

A baseball park is being destroyed to make room for one permanent mobile home subdivision, said Sparks. Other homes will be temporarily placed on two empty sites in and outside of town that will eventually be converted back to green space. Construction of 370 new homes and a 70-unit housing project is also set to begin next month.

That means more housing will be needed for the 400 trades people expected to be working each day in the town over the next two to three years. Pillay-Kinnee said work camps will likely be erected. Shortly after the fire, ATCO moved in its own trailers to set up a work camp outside the town for 200 of its employees busy restoring power and gas to the area. Pillay-Kinnee said that camp is half-full and welcoming contractors who need beds.

Bulldozers and other heavy equipment are also busy rumbling around town cleaning up the blackened remains of basement foundations and vehicles reduced to skeletal frames.

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