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Residents left to rebuild after historic apartment building collapses in Penetanguishene

Crews are preparing to demolish the remainder of a historic apartment building in Penetanguishene after it collapsed while the tenants who called it home try to pick up the pieces.

Fourteen people lost their homes early Thursday morning when a portion of the Main Street structure came tumbling down.

"I had my shorts, my slippers, and my T-shirt, and I grabbed my cell phone, and then we're out there in the chaos, and we're told we can't go in," said resident Dale Stonehouse.

The Red Cross is providing emergency accommodation, meals and clothing in the short term for those unable to stay with family, like Stonehouse.

"At least I've got them, you know, the emotional support. Just something to eat, a place to sleep," he added.

Some landlords and the Town are working with the County to try and find housing for the displaced residents.

"The work with the County is paramount," said Jeff Lees, the town's Chief Administrative Officer. "At the end of the day, everyone's goal is to find people housing, recognizing that affordability continues to be a concern."

Many personal items were lost in the rubble, but on Friday, fire crews recovered Stonehouse's wallet and car keys, a tiny beacon of hope for the Penetanguishene man.

"It made me want to cry. At least, if I've got money and means, I can get a place. With my car, I can get to work," he said.

The Town is working with Main Street businesses impacted by the building collapse and subsequent road closure, with many remaining closed due to hydro and gas being shut off.

The cause of the collapse remains under investigation. Top Stories


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