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Updated: Fri, 20 Dec 2013 17:41:00 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Kingston fire-damaged crane approved to come down



A worker stands at the edge of a crane as a fire rages below him in Kingston, Ont. CKWS

A worker stands at the edge of a crane as a fire rages below him in Kingston, Ont. CKWS

A construction crane damaged in a massive fire in Kingston, Ont., on Tuesday could be dismantled and removed by as early as Saturday.

The province has approved a plan to dismantle the crane where a worker was rescued in Tuesday’s fire at a residential housing complex under construction.

The Ministry of Labour has given the go-ahead for Dutch company Mammoet to bring four cranes to the site at 663 Princess St.

Kingston Mayor Mark Gerretson said three cranes would be used to stabilize the existing crane while a fourth crane will be used to lower the sections of the damaged crane as it is disassembled.

The pieces will then be loaded onto flatbed trucks parked on Victoria Street, he said.

Patry Inc., the developer of the student housing complex being built at 663 Princess St., said that, weather permitting, dismantling should start on Saturday.

There iscurrently a freezing rain warning in effect for Kingston, issued by Environment Canada.

The fire damaged the steel crane to the point where a two-block evacuation zone had to be set up around the site, with people banned from getting back into homes and businesses.

Fire Chief Rhéaume​ Chaput said his crews are waiting to get to work returning the area to normal.

“Once the crane has been dismantled and on the ground, we're going to be working diligently to assess the cause and origin as much as we can and we're opening up the street as quickly as we can,” said Chaput.

“We are going to give access to the people affected by this, give them access to their homes, give them access to their businesses as quickly as possible,” he said.

Tenants of a long-term home next to the construction site will be unable to return for months and are being put up at a nearby hotel for now.

The crane’s operator at the time, Adam Jastrezbski, is recovering from burns suffered after he scrambled to the tip of the crane’s boom and was rescued by a helicopter rescue crew from CFB Trenton.

Patry Inc. said construction contractor Stelmach PM is still working with the Ontario Fire Marshal's Office to determine the cause of the fire.

Mammoet is one of the largest crane companies in the world, with two Canadian offices — one in Edmonton and the other in Ayr, Ont.

Its list of projects includes erecting the London Eye Ferris wheel in the U.K. and projects in the Alberta oilsands.

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