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Residents of Windsor condo building without heat months after car falls into utility vault

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People living in a downtown Windsor condo building are still feeling the effects after a parked vehicle fell through the ground into an underground electric vault in September.

According to Ward 3 Coun. Renaldo Agostino, some residents at Royal Windsor Terrace on Pelissier Street currently have no heat in their units as work continues to address the situation.

“I think people need to know this is not a 1616 Ouellette situation where people are at risk,” Agostino explained.

He said ground level retailers, units on the second floor and throughout the hallways of the 145 unit building have heat, noting space heaters have been made available to residents who need them inside their units, while two large generators continue to provide power to the building.

“No one in the building is at risk of being in danger but at the same time, no one in the building has the amenities that they're supposed to have. And I'm told that there's a rush to get this done,” Agostino said.

Agostino said he's hoping an update with more information on the situation will be available soon.

“I know that the building management is working hard to get this done. And I'm told to the next few days, something's gonna happen. So fingers crossed,” he said.

“It could have been worse. It could have been no electricity, no heat, no nothing. And then everyone's got to find a new place to live. And with the housing crunch we're in right now — that's not what we need. What we need to do is stitch things up to keep people comfortable and keep people happy and keep people off the streets or out of other people's homes or taking up properties in homes that could have gone to someone else.”

He added, “They made the best of a bad situation to get all their hydro back on that it sounds like the heat and the gas is a little bit more difficult, but they're working on it. And should be resolved with the next little while. There's a resolution coming sooner rather than later.”

Mark Smith of Parkside Property Management declined an interview on Thursday, but did tell CTV News that building management is working diligently and as quickly as possible to restore full power to residents.

James Brown, Enwin’s vice president of hydro operations said in a statement to CTV News that there are just over 40 privately owned and maintained transformer vaults in Windsor, which are inspected on a regular basis.

Brown’s statement said when deficiencies are noted, the vault owner is notified and requested to make a repair.

“The majority of vaults are not in areas accessible to vehicles; therefore less risk that an event similar to the Royal Windsor Terrace incident would occur,” he said. “ENWIN is working closely with Royal Windsor Terrace on electricity supply solutions.”

-- With files from AM800 News 

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