All 24 residents of a Department of Housing apartment block in Merewether have been displaced due to the damage wrought by a fire last week, which has rendered their building “uninhabitable”.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) said the Watkins Street block of apartments had suffered “significant damage” and that tenants had been found temporary accommodation.
“Once the extent of the damage is known, FACS will work with any affected tenants as a priority to relocate them to nearby permanent housing,” she said.
“It is anticipated that the majority will be able to return to the building, however a small number of tenants will relocate to new permanent housing.”
Fire crews extinguished a blaze on the third-floor of the building on Monday, October 29.
Newcastle Fire and Rescue station officer Rod Lynch said an investigation conducted by firefighters after the fire found the “structural integrity” of the building had been weakened.
“Due to the intense heat of the fire there was substantial cracking in the walls and the frame of the roof has been compromised,” he said.
Police have confirmed they are investigating the cause of the fire.