Tenants of evacuated Kensington apartment block begin mass move-out
Building being emptied floor by floor as residents given 4-hour windows to remove belongings
Tensions were running high for former residents of Kensington Manor Wednesday — the first day tenants were allowed to return to the building nearly two weeks after being forced out by the threat of a "possible imminent building collapse."
Tenants arrived at the building in Calgary's Kensington area as early as 6 a.m. They were armed with friends and boxes to start packing up their apartments, but access to the building was delayed by more than five hours after engineers said they needed more time to ensure proper shoring of the building was in place.
"The delay was the professional engineer working with the contractor," said Wayne Brown, the city of Calgary's co-ordinator of safety response.
"Once he was OK with the set-up as far as shoring was concerned, then the safety codes officer at site accepted that, then the tenants were allowed to go in and begin to remove their contents
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On Nov. 23, 125 residents were given 15 minutes to grab their belongings after an engineer decided the seven-storey building was no longer safe for occupation.
Tenants had been kept out of the building until Wednesday, when the mass move-out began. The building is being emptied floor by floor and former residents have been assigned four-hour time slots by the property owner to remove all of their belongings from the building.
Micah Lukasewich was moving his things from his former sixth floor apartment on Wednesday. He said he doesn't believe residents have been given enough time.
"Giving us a drop-dead dateline of the 13th is pretty ludicrous, especially with the minimal amount of money they've given us for this whole thing," he said. "My lease is broken and I think there was stipulations that I would be fined if I broke my lease, so why doesn't it go both ways?"
The city has only granted re-entry access to the building until Dec. 13.