Westcourt Place To Be Closed For At Least 72 More Hours, Fire Damaged Internal Electrical Systems, Says Mayor

Wednesday November 13th, 2019

Posted at 1:25pm

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Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens is calling on the property owner of Westcourt Place to take action following a fire that displaced over 200 residents from 164 units as well as 30 commercial tenants.

Dilkens and city officials spoke to the media shortly before noon, Wednesday, to provide an update on the situation. Dilkens said it will be at least 72 hours before Westcourt Place reopens, but that the building may remain closed longer while repairs take place.

The building owner, a “numbered company” based out of Monteral, as Dilkens described it, was at first not giving the situation the attention it required, he said.

“We’re really asking the building owner to take note of what’s happened here and make sure the insurer is on site as quickly as possible…to get this building up and going,” Dilkens said. “Because this is private property, we need the owner to step up in a way that we haven’t seen her doing in the last twenty-four hours.”

The fire severely damaged the building’s privately owned electrical infrastructure, according to Dilkens, and it will be up to the property owner to make those repairs.

Dilkens said ENWIN’s electrical equipment that feeds the building was not damaged by the fire and ENWIN workers were able to restore power to neighbouring buildings and customers who were unaffected by the fire.

Dilkens said once the building owner has the internal electrical system repaired, the the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) will inspect the work and issue an authorization to connect and restore power to the building. Once ESA approval is obtained, the building owner will be allowed to restore power to the building.

Fire Chief Stephen Laforet says the fire is being actively investigated by the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office and that a total of seven vehicles were involved in the blaze. The fire took place on the Basement 2 level of the building, but the cause and origin is still being investigated. Investigators are looking at the damage to the structural elements of the building but the building is structurally safe at this time, he said.

The building is still under a mandatory evacuation due to a lack of heating, electricity and potable water, according to Laforet. But Dilkens said the city is working on a plan this afternoon to allow residents to briefly return to the building to retrieve important personal belongings including medication and clothing.

Dilkens said the city provided temporary accommodation last night at the WFCU Centre for 26 adults and six children and will continue to do so.

He said the city will continue to provide updates to residents, business owners and the community.

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