Windsor

Wheatley residents concerned over security of homes in evacuation zone

Wheatley residents are angry over what they say is lax security near the site of last summer's explosion, after a third security guard was apparently found sleeping on the job.

Another security guard has been removed after photo appears to show him sleeping

Another security guard assigned to keep an eye on evacuated homes in the area of the Wheatley explosion was caught sleeping on the job last week. (Jennifer La Grassa/CBC)

Wheatley residents are angry over what they say is lax security near the site of last summer's explosion, after a third security guard was apparently found sleeping on the job.

A photo appears to show the guard asleep in his vehicle while on the clock last week. In November, two other security guards were also spotted allegedly sleeping.

The homes in the vicinity of the Aug. 26, 2021, explosion — which is believed to have been caused by an abandoned gas well — were evacuated, and homeowners haven't yet been allowed to move back in.

More gas wells have since been found, and there's concern another explosion could take place.

Stephanie Charbonneau, who owns a home near the explosion site, said homes in the area are an "easy target."

"Everybody knows we're not there in a huge radius," she said. "Especially at night when you can say nobody is working on the the situation, and there's minimal staffing just to monitor for gas."

Charbonneau said she's heard of situations where people have snuck into the area and entered homes.

"We can't be there to safeguard our properties," she said. "That's what [security's] job is supposed to be, to safeguard our properties because we're not allowed to."

A municipal spokesperson said the guard caught sleeping last week worked for GardaWorld, and has been removed from the site. CBC News contacted the company for comment but has not heard back 

Coun. Mark Authier, who represents Ward 1 — which includes Wheatley — said he's worried about security at the site.

He said he'd like to see the security guards more active when on duty.

"I would like them out walking the entire area," Authier said. "If they're in their cars all the time, someone could slip through and basically go wherever they want."

"I know there's a policeman there all the time, as well, so hopefully, they will do a little more walking as well to see what's going on with the guards," he said. "But yeah, I definitely worry about the area and, obviously, the sleeping, which should not be tolerated."

With files from Jacob Barker

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