Residents of the LaSalle Apartments in downtown Toledo were told to be out of the 131-unit building by 8 last night, nearly 24 hours after an electrical short-circuit left the structure without heat or running water.
It was unclear how long residents would have to be away from their apartments.
LaSalle managers suggested that residents pack "for the next several days."
"Unfortunately, there is not a quick resolution to this problem and, at this point, it appears that the building will be without power for potentially the next couple of days," managers said in a letter to residents.
Tony Daniels, who lives on the fourth floor of the nine-story building, said he spent his 63rd birthday in the dark Monday - "cold, tensed up, very nervous about the whole thing, the whole nine yards."
"I just wasn't ready for this," he said, clutching overnight bags and a few pressed white shirts before his temporary move into a downtown hotel.
The power outage was reported about 8:45 p.m. Monday, apparently after an electrical arc caused a small fire on an electrical panel in the building's parking garage, officials said.
Residents of the 91-year-old building at 513 Adams St., which originally was a department store, learned yesterday in the letter that the Toledo Fire Department ordered the building closed until power is restored.
St. Moritz Security Services will provide 24-hour security until power is back on.
Management paid for residents to stay downtown at the Park Inn or the Toledo Riverfront Hotel and offered daily rent credit to those who stay with family or friends, and a $30 per day food credit, the letter said.
"They're being really good about setting us up in a hotel," Brian Marklin, 35, who lives on the fifth floor, said. "It's an old building. Things happen."
This is the second time in less than four months that downtown apartment dwellers have been displaced.
A natural gas explosion Nov. 23 in the basement of the Valentine Theatre forced residents of the adjoining 54-unit Renaissance Senior Apartments into temporary housing elsewhere. Those apartments have not yet reopened.