MORE than 40 residents who were left temporarily homeless after a fire tore through a block of flats will be able to move back in tomorrow.
During the first stage of resettlement, 44 apartments at Wharfside near Wigan Pier have been declared habitable and tenants invited to return.
They coming back to the part of the building which was the least affected area of the blaze which occurred in the early hours of Sunday June 14.
Contractors are still hard at work making the remainder of the five-storey premises fit for habitation again, with an estimation of between two to three months before people living in the middle section of the block being able to return.
It is thought that those living in the block where the fire started won’t be able to move back in for about 12 months.
A number of flats have already been dismantled inside, and this week, the work to dismantle the top two floors has gained pace.
Stephen Gallaghan, commercial development manager for Contour Property Services which looks after the building for the various letting agency landlords, said: “Our main focus is to move residents back into Wharfside as soon as possible. The work is continuing on schedule and we are happy to say that residents in block A will start moving back in this Friday.
“We have also been assessing the extent of the damage on block B. There are a number of sections that need to be repaired and this work is ongoing. We are still aiming to move residents back in within 8-12 weeks.
“Block C, where the fire started, is being stripped back to the original framework to evaluate the full extent of the damage. A number of apartments have already been dismantled internally and the work to deconstruct the top two floors, has intensified.
“We anticipate that it will take about 12 months before residents can move back in.
“If residents have any questions, please ring Contour Property Services on 0345 6012410 or their letting agent directly.”
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service say an investigation into how the fire started has yet to be completed and they are working with various agencies to determine the cause.
The blaze left around 200 tenants without homes as they sheltered in Mill at the Pier which was turned into a rescue centre for a week.
Wigan Council officers sought emergency and temporary accommodation for residents within a week and the community rallied round, raising funds and donating items to those who had lost almost everything in the fire.