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Burst pipe, flooding knocks out utilities at Toronto highrise

Click to play video 'Residents of 260 Wellesley left in the dark for second night' Residents of 260 Wellesley left in the dark for second night
WATCH ABOVE: Tenants of a downtown Toronto apartment where a pipe burst, flooding the electrical room and leading to a power outage, say they still don't know when they will have water heat or electricity again. Jamie Mauracher reports.

Hundreds of residents at a downtown Toronto highrise are without power and water after flooding in the building’s electrical room.

A water pipe burst inside the garbage disposal room of 260 Wellesley St. E. Tuesday afternoon. The water subsequently leaked into the 33-storey building’s electrical room. After the flood, the Electrical Safety Authority ordered Toronto Hydro to disconnect power.

“The action taken to turn off the power ensured there was no catastrophic or large-scale electrical failure,” the City of Toronto said in a news release issued Tuesday evening.

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“With no electricity to the building, fire and life safety protection systems are offline, triggering Toronto Fire Services to issue the order for the fire watch.”

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Residents are still allowed to enter the building and remain in their units, if so desired.

However, building management and Toronto Fire said in an update on Wednesday they’re not sure when the power will be back up and running, adding that it wouldn’t be by end of day.

Crews are still unsure exactly how much of the electrical equipment has been damaged after the pipe burst. Management said they have to wait until the area dries to be able to full assess the situation.

Jim Jessop, deputy chief of Toronto Fire Services, said 31 security guards have been ordered to assist emergency crews with conducting regular safety-related checks.

A warming centre was set up at the Wellesley Community Centre, and TTC buses were brought in to assist residents.

A meeting was held for building residents Wednesday evening. Officials said a further update is expected on Thursday.

The owner of the property also owns 650 Parliament St., which was the site of a six-alarm fire in August. More than 1,500 residents at that building have been displaced since the fire.

–With files from Jamie Mauracher

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