Windsor

Royal Windsor Terrace residents still without power following Wednesday electrical fire

Residents of a downtown Windsor highrise are still without power following an accidental fire that started on the fifth floor. 

Unclear when building's residential suites will have power restored, says Windsor fire

Royal Windsor Terrace was the scene of an accidental electrical fire on Wednesday. (Jason Viau/CBC)

Residents of a downtown Windsor highrise are still without power following an accidental fire that started on the fifth floor. 

John Lee, fire prevention officer with Windsor Fire and Rescue Services, said it's not clear when power will be restored following the electrical fire at Royal Windsor Terrace Wednesday.

Though the building's residential suites are still without electricity, running water and hot water are available. The building's common areas still have power.

Lee said he wasn't able to provide a damage estimate, as "that's going to depend on the scope of the work required to fix the electrical in that building."

Windsor fire have returned control of the building to its owner. The property manager for Royal Windsor Terrace had no comment until he could speak with the board of directors.

According to Lee, most Royal Windsor Terrace residents spent Wednesday night in their units. 

'It's still not too bad,' says resident

Brandon McIntosh rents a unit with his sister and her boyfriend and said he's heard it could take up to three days before power is returned to the building. 

In the meantime he said building representatives have done a "good job" of keeping residents in good spirits. 

"Management [has] done a phenomenal job of doing everything that can to make everybody comfortable," he said, adding that a generator is feeding power to the building's second floor, allowing residents to charge their electronic devices, as well as stay warm. 

Brandon McIntosh rents a unit in Royal Windsor Terrace with his sister and her boyfriend. He plans on staying in the building even though residential units are without power. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

McIntosh was one of the residents who stayed in the building overnight on Wednesday. He said the unit was cold, but he did his best to layer up and keep warm.

"It's still not too bad, but everybody else is hanging out on the second floor, staying warm," he said. "Everybody's still around, so we're making the best of the situation."

Despite the lack of power, McIntosh said he plans on remaining in Royal Windsor Terrace. 

Fire crews carry out preplanning 

In the event of a building fire, Lee said planning in advance allows Windsor fire crews to appropriately respond. 

"Crew are expected to preplan buildings in their area as part of their daily training," he said. "So the crews … and the office are pretty well aware of the building stock in their area."

According to Lee, Windsor fire has conducted preplanning on anywhere between 5,000 and 6,000 buildings in Windsor. 

John Lee is a fire prevention officer with Windsor Fire and Rescue Services. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

"Every one of those larger buildings has a fire safety plan, and we also have what's called a firefighter safety plan, which is a condensed version of the entire plan," he said. "That provides us with schematics … the shut-offs, the hazards … any specialized knowledge that we would require to coordinate  afire attack in that building, or an evacuation."

In the case of Royal Windsor Terrace, Lee said it was that preplanning that allowed Windsor fire to swiftly respond to Wednesday's electrical fire. 

With files from Dale Molnar

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