'This was not our fault': Westcourt Place tenants stressed without answers

Displaced for almost two weeks, Westcourt Place tenants are still waiting for news on when they can go back home.

The Nov. 12 fire has been ruled accidental, but access to the building is still restricted.

Diane Khoury said she had about 30 minutes on Friday to get things out and clean her apartment.

"It was gross," said Aline Khoury. The sisters spent much of their time emptying the fridge in the 10th floor apartment they share with their mother. 

"That disgusting first wave of rotten food smell just hits you in the face."

Diane said that, coupled with the smell of smoke, made it an overwhelming experience.

Antonio Santibanez is an 18th floor resident and stopped by Friday to grab some clothes for work and personal identification.

"There's a layer everywhere ... smoke or dust ... it was not very pleasant," said Santibanez. He's been staying with a friend for the last 13 days. 

Listen to three displaced Westcourt tenants from their interview on Windsor Morning with host Tony Doucette. 

'It's very stressful'

The tenants still don't know when they can move back in.

"It's stressful because you don't have your stuff, you're not sleeping in your own bed," said Diane. "You're sharing someone else's space. When it comes down to it, I think the biggest problem with being displaced is a financial burden."

Angelica Haggert/CBC

The Khoury family is split up among family and friends, which makes it even more complicated. 

"There's just not enough room for everyone," said Diane. "You have to take what's given to you. The owners should have put people in hotels or motels. We pay rent to live in our own privacy. This was not our fault."

Santibanez wishes management would give them an approximate time frame on their return — right now tenants have no idea on a timeline.

"What do I tell the person I'm staying with right now?" said Santibanez. "Am I going to be staying here a few more days, a few more weeks?"

Moving becoming an option

Six hours turned into 72 hours and then 72 hours turned into 3 weeks — Diane said it's "absurd."

"A lot of the tenants think the owner of the building, because it was an electrical fire, they should have placed us in accommodations," said Diane. 

Submitted by Diane Khoury

Santibanez said if it hits Dec. 1, the option to move becomes a "real option" to him.

"It's difficult to make a decision now with the limited information we have," said Santibanez. 

Alina agreed, but said rent prices in the city would make moving difficult. 

"How are you supposed to get first and last when you have so much out-of-pocket expenses right now? And there could be a waiting list," said Alina. "Right now it's not easy for anyone."