July 16th, 2012
Winnipeg apartment dwellers waiting to go home
Chris Pointon is spending his summer sleeping on friend’s couches and spare beds.
He and his girlfriend have been shut out of their Edmonton Street apartment for six weeks, following an electrical fire on May 31.
“It’s been a real bounce around, we’ve been to three different places in six weeks, so it’s like moving every two weeks,” said Pointon.
The fire started in the middle of the day and residents were evacuated. That night they were given five minutes to retrieve necessities. Pointon said the first night they couldn’t find their second cat and had to abandon it for four days before they were let in again, this time for 15 minutes.
The building owner now offers 24-hour security for residents to go and out of their suites.
“As long as they have their I.D., they just need to wear protective gear,” said Curtis Shewchuk, who manages the property for Sussex Realty.
Shewchuck said people won’t be allowed back in to live until the building obtains a re-occupancy permit from the city. Shewchuck said the contractors are expected to be done reconstruction by July 27.
“The day after the fire we were told the anticipated re-entry into the building would be July 15 or earlier,” said Pointon. “If we had known it would be our whole summer, we would have looked for another place.”
“Unfortunately this is a great reason why people should have tenants insurance,” said Shewchuk.
Pointon said he does have content insurance for his collectibles, but does not have tenant insurance. Pointon and his girlfriend are looking for other options, but still have hope for the building.
“It’s a good location – if they call me tonight or tomorrow and say we can move back in a week or two, then okay,” he said.