As hotel fees add up, flood victim considers camping outside Tricar apartment building

A pipe burst in the Renaissance I building on King Street earlier this week leaving some residents without a home.

Aaron Keenan has been staying in a hotel since the top floors of the Renaissance I flooded Wednesday

Aaron Keenan is a resident at the Renaissance I building. (Jennifer Hall/CBC News)

Aaron Keenan grabbed his two cats and a suitcase and headed to a hotel Wednesday after water started to pour down the hallway outside of his 27th floor apartment in downtown London. 

That was Wednesday, and since then, he and his wife have been living in a hotel, waiting for Tricar to provide them with information about when they can go home. 

"I really am running low on funds. I'm new in the city, I really don't know anybody. If I have nowhere to stay and if I want to make a statement, I have no qualms camping outside of the building."  

Keenan said when he contacted Tricar, the property developer, he was told it could be weeks before some residents would be allowed back. 

"This is an extremely rare and isolated incident, and we have immediately engaged restoration professionals to complete any cleanup or repairs necessary," said Adam Carapella, Vice President of Operations on Wednesday.

That reassurance is no comfort to Keenan and his wife who have so far shelled out for two nights at a hotel and have booked into the weekend. 

"I'm having a very hard time. There's been very little information from Tricar, there's been no offer of compensation to date."

Keenan is asking that part of his rent be compensated in order to help pay for hotels. 

"I was told not at this time." 

Water everywhere

Keenan's apartment is one of 15 upper storey suites that Tricar said was evacuated when a water pipe burst Wednesday on the top floor of the skyrise on King Street.

It set off sprinklers and left knee-high water that prevented some residents from being able to open their doors.

"There was maybe 6 inches of water on the floor," he recalled. "Water was pouring down from the walls, the ceiling was beginning to collapse," he said.     

Keenan said when he returned to survey the damage in his home, the floors and ceiling were badly damaged but the electricity was on. He said his neighbour's home was much worse off, and the power was still shut off. 

Inside of Renaissance I building after a water leak was caused due to routine monthly maintenance. (Submitted by Aaron Keenon)

"I would like to see a gesture of good faith for those who were affected and don't have home owners insurance. This is not something I caused, this was due to testing in the building." 

Keenan said Friday in an interview on London Morning that the elevators were being used by appointment only. He noted walking up and down 20 flights of stairs was difficult and would be next to impossible for some seniors. 

CBC News has asked Tricar how it plans to compensate residents but requests for comment have so far gone unanswered.