Toronto Community Housing continues to work closely with the Ontario Fire Marshal, several City departments, the Red Cross, Fred Victor and other social service agencies on the response to the major fire at 291 George St. The safety and comfort of tenants is our first priority and we thank all of our partners for their dedication in helping get tenants back home as soon as possible.
Inspection, clean up and repair work to the first three floors began yesterday immediately after the Ontario Fire Marshal granted access to begin restoration work.
Access to the fourth floor, the location of the fire and fatality, was temporarily granted yesterday. We were granted access again mid-morning Saturday, in order to complete further electrical repairs. The preliminary electrical inspection has found that the intensity of the fire caused significant heat and water damage to the electrical system, including the electrical panel that provides electric heat to resident units and services the boiler that provides hot water to the entire building.
The priority now is on repairing the electrical system on the fourth floor so that heat and hot water can be returned to the building. Cleaning of the first three floors was completed overnight, so tenants from those floors will be allowed to return once these critical services are back on line.
While the repairs are being completed, all tenants will continue to be lodged in hotels and will receive meals and other support services. TCHC and agency staff are at the hotels to provide any individual assistance to tenants. Tenants are regularly provided information on the status of the building.
The fourth floor and up to five additional units damaged by the fire will need more extensive repairs. Therefore, tenants of those units will be moved temporarily to other TCHC apartments over the coming days.
Once the heat and hot water are restored and the building has passed inspection, tenants will be able to return home. While we cannot say exactly when some tenants will be able to return, we are targeting Monday.
Sara Goldvine, 416-737-1352 or firstname.lastname@example.org