Investigation complete at Westcourt Place after fire forces mass evacuation
WINDSOR – The Ontario Fire Marshal has concluded its investigation into a parking garage fire on Tuesday at a downtown high-rise and found no evidence of foul play.
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens tells CTV News the fire has been deemed not-suspicious after the blaze saw thick, black smoke billow in the city’s downtown.
Westcourt Place on Goyeau Avenue will now be turned over to the owner, who is responsible for restoring power to the building. Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens says this could take two weeks, but in the meantime, the building remains closed under orders of the Medical Officer of Health.
“Progress has been made in moving towards a return to power, with a generator now on scene and steps towards installation and hook-up taking place,” reads a media release issued Friday afternoon by the City of Windsor. “But, re-occupancy may not be quick, as there will be tests of equipment needed, inspections to take place and a plan developed by the owners to bring residents and tenants home.”
While residents aren't yet able to return home, the 30 residents sheltered at the WFCU Centre are now being moved to motel rooms. All associated costs will be the responsibility of the building owner. All activities at the WFCU Centre have returned to normal.
“The building manager is also setting up an office in the downtown until she can return to her own in the Westcourt building, and notice on that location will be shared when accommodations are secured,” the release indicates. “Ownership is also being encouraged to set up an online presence where residents and tenants can find up-to-date information going forward.”
Three residents and two firefighters had to be taken to hospital after suffering smoke inhalation on the day of the blaze. All have since been released.
On Thursday, residents still did not have clarity as to when they could return to their homes.
“All we have is the clothing on our back and my husband needs medication and I need medication and that’s up there,” said Marvic Dalrymple, a resident at Westcourt Place.
But, it won’t be until Saturday at the earliest residents will be able to return to their homes.
Now that the office of the Fire Marshal has concluded its investigation, regulatory agencies will need to give the necessary approvals before the building can be re-occupied.