The Hamilton Spectator
Displaced residents could be out of their homes for a year
At least 27 units at Stoney Brook Drive site remain inaccessible
It could be a full year before some three-dozen Stoney Creek residents displaced by a hefty fire last week can permanently move back into their homes.
At least 27 units at 110 Stoney Brook Dr. remain inaccessible after an evening blaze on April 14 left a portion of the threestorey structure stripped of its roof and balconies heavily charred, said David Hall, executive director of Stoney Creek Community Homes Inc.
“The preliminary feedback I’ve gotten is that, even if some of the units are in good condition, they’re not likely going to be able to accept anyone to return for quite some time because they would be part of an active construction zone,” said Hall.
Hall said the health crisis presents additional challenges.
Materials are hard to source and labourers are stretched thin because of the stay-athome order.
“It’s a very significant restoration effort,” he said.
The seniors’ building, just off King Street East and parallel to Westbury Avenue, sustained significant damages estimated to be in the range of $1.5 million to $3 million.
The Office of the Fire Marshal said Wednesday the fire is not believed to be suspicious.
“Further analysis is being conducted to confirm the cause of this particular fire,” said spokesperson Kristy Denette.
The fire began on a third-floor balcony on the western wing of the 60-unit building before it quickly shot through the roof and bounced over one- and two-bedroom apartments.
More than 100 tenants flooded onto the street at sundown under the backdrop of thick, black smoke and ringing alarms.
A good chunk of them — about two-dozen — were put on an HSR bus and taken to the Courtyard by Marriot on Upper James Street, where they have stayed for the past week with the help of Red Cross.
But that temporary relief has since dried up.
Hall said all of the displaced residents are now on tenant insurance, either saying at hotels or with family and friends.
The majority of residents are without essentials that were left behind in the fire — a need which prompted a local retirement community to spring to action.
Amica at Stoney Creek packed four cars full of clothing, toiletries and snacks to deliver to displaced tenants at the Marriot, said spokesperson Carly Gagnon.