Rebuilding process after blast on Woodman could take a year
Published Monday, August 19, 2019 3:11PM EDT
The sale of their Woodman Avenue home was to close in just a few days, but instead an OEV couple confirmed to CTV News they are in "limbo" as they wait for insurance adjusters to decide whether or not they can rebuild.
They’re not alone. Several property owners are still awaiting final word on the future of their houses, while others face significant repairs.
All were impacted by the massive gas explosion on Woodman Avenue last Wednesday.
Theo Christoff’s home is just across the street from the blast site.
Although his residence suffered smoke and some window damage, he continues to feel fortunate after insurance adjusters went through his home Monday.
Christoff was standing at the entrance to his kitchen when the blast occurred. In the seconds afterward, he ran out and was among the first to help an injured police officer and an elderly couple across the street.
Although he is still not living in his home, he was briefly back in his kitchen Monday, as he thought about the long process forward for his neighbours.
“We’re going to miss our neighbours that’s for sure. We are hoping they’ll all rebuild, but we don’t know”
Restoration experts say it will likely be a year or more before Woodman Avenue is fully rebuilt.
Derek Van Geffen, of Onside Restoration, says it’s an emotional time for residents.
He’s had to deliver bad news to several home owners affected by Wednesday night's blast.
“They’re very distraught. They’ve lost their castle. They’ve lost everything...we have to be sympathetic to their cause."
Dave O’Brien, the City of London’s Emergency Management Coordinator, says his team’s role is largely complete in the Woodman area, with insurance adjusters and residents now facing the difficult task of rebuilding.