RESIDENTS from the least affected part of the Wharfside apartments could return to their homes within the next two weeks - but those at the heart of the fire will have to wait at least a year.
That was the message to the hundreds of people affected by the huge blaze which ripped through the pierside block of flats last Sunday week.
Firefighters have since formally handed the building over to Contour Property Services (CPS) as demolition work began on the worst-affected part of the building.
The building, off Heritage Way, has been divided into three zones, based on the damage caused by the blaze, which started in the early hours. Zone A is relatively undamaged and the contractor is working to restore services to the individual flats, hoping to get residents back into their homes within the next two weeks.
Zone B has had more significant damage throughout, and it is likely to take two to three months before tenants can return.
Zone C, where the fire happened, has been wrecked.
We are doing everything we can to get residents back into their homes as quickly as possibleTony Dunne - managing director of CPS
Part of the upper floor has already been removed and it is expected to take about 12 months before people can move back in.
The five-storey building has 132 flats, holding around 200 residents.
Tony Dunne, managing director of CPS, said: “Our thoughts are with the residents during this difficult time.
“Naturally, our first priority has been to help them with accommodation and support. Our colleagues at Wigan Council and Wigan and Leigh Homes have done a fantastic job ensuring everyone has a place to stay and the support they need.
“Wharfside has been handed over to our contractors who have developed an action plan to repair and rebuild the properties.
“We are doing everything we can to get residents back into their homes as quickly as possible.
“If there are any questions or concerns, please call CPS on 0345 601 2410.”
Wigan Council is still working with those who have not yet found alternative housing although it has found permanent housing solutions for almost all of those affected.