Power out at Westcourt Place until at least Saturday: Windsor Mayor
WINDSOR -- ENWIN crews are working to restore power at a downtown high rise after a fire forced the electricity provider to cut power to the building, but it won’t happen quickly.
Some 200 residents at Westcourt Place will be out for at least 72 hours as the owner of the building from Montreal will make electrical repairs, according to Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. He estimates it will be back on by Saturday, Nov. 16 at the earliest – with the exception that residents will be allowed to enter the building Wednesday evening during a three-hour window.
"We understand work will have to happen to bring in a generator of some sort that could help feed power to the building in the short term because in 72 hours, it's unlikely that the equipment that was damaged would be fully restored," says Dilkens.
Meantime, the city is doing all it can to ensure everyone is housed.
"Our primary responsibility right now is ensuring that the residents who have been displaced and don't have friends and family to go to have the supports of that they need and they're immediate needs are being met," says the city's health commissioner, Jelena Payne.
The fire broke out in the underground parking garage at Westcourt Place at 251 Goyeau St. early Tuesday morning, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of residents and damaging some of the electrical equipment at the 21-storey building. Three residents and two firefighters were also taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
Dilkens said seven vehicles were also damaged in the fire, which happened on level B2 in the underground parking garage.
ENWIN was asked to cut off power at the building so firefighters could safely fight the fire. “Unfortunately, the electrical supply that goes to the Westcourt Place building also supplies other buildings in the area and those customers were consequently also out of power,” said ENWIN spokesperson, Barbara Pierce Marshall in a media release.
By 4:45 p.m., Tuesday, power was restored to all customers in the area, with the exception of those residing in the building at 251 Goyeau St. Because of that, more than 200 residents were displaced from the building following a mandatory evacuation.
The Westcourt Place building owner is working to repair the building’s electrical distribution system, which was damaged by the fire. “When that is done, the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) will inspect the work and issue an authorization to connect and restore power to the building,” noted Pierce Marshall.
Once ESA approval is granted, the building will once again have its power restored, Pierce Marshall adds.
Residents displaced from Westcourt Place who need short-term access to their apartments will have a three-hour window Wednesday evening.
The City of Windsor is providing time between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. for residents to gather belongings on a first-come, first-served basis.
The small window of access also comes with some stuff guidelines:
• Only one resident per unit is permitted to attend.
• First come, first served basis – must check in with a Windsor Fire Official in the City bus parked at Goyeau and expect a wait to gain entry (please be patient).
• Residents must wait on the bus or lose their spot in line.
• Bus will be located at the main entrance on Goyeau.
• Residents are to plan to pack for their essential needs for 72 hours or more: this is to include clothing, medical devices, medications, ID, keys.
• If the resident has a pet, they must be able to retrieve their pet on their own and must have their own carriers for pets: firefighters will not carry pets outside of cages.
• If they require shelter for the next 72 hours or more, they need to report to the WFCU Reception Centre at 8787 McHugh Street.
• Residents are allowed one entry to gather all required items.
• Residents must be able to provide proof of residence in order to gain entry, e.g. driver’s licence
• No further access to the Westcourt building will take place after 8pm this evening.
• Residents who can’t make today’s timeframe are asked to call or email 311 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and leave a name, apartment number and number to be called back. If owning a vehicle please also indicate the parking level it’s in. Calls would be best early Thursday morning. The contact centre opens at 8am.
It's not just the residents that have been displaced due to the fire.
The provincial offences court also operates out of Westcourt Along with 30 commercial offices, will be closed until the building reopens.
Officials are trying to get a satellite location up and running but it could take another day.
Anyone wanting to make a payment for a suspended license can visit Service Ontario.
Tickets can be paid on the City of Windsor website or at any other provincial offences building.