Worried about the safety of tenants of a Waterloo apartment complex, the Electrical Safety Authority ordered Wednesday that power be shut off to part of the building.

“We take this action only when there’s an immediate and significant risk that someone could be seriously injured or killed,” ESA spokesperson Kathryn Chopp told CTV News.

ESA inspectors and other authorities were on-site Wednesday at 154 Erb Street East, looking into a problem that stretches back more than six months.

In January, a resident of the building reported a leak in their unit.

That led to the discovery of a leak in the building’s roof, as well as water problems in five of the building’s 35 apartments.

“There’s severe water damage to the electrical system in those units,” said Copp.

As a result of the inspection, power will be cut to the entire building for 30 to 60 minutes on Thursday.

In that time, the five affected units – which officials say aren’t safe for habitation – will be taken off the building’s power grid.

Two of the five are currently vacant, but the other three are occupied by people who will need to find other accommodations, including Paul Chahor.

“I have to move out yesterday, basically,” he said.

“It seems to be more of a hassle – moving out, moving back in. I may as well just look for somewhere else and stay there.”

ESA inspectors will return to the building next week, after the property owner conducts further testing.

The results of those tests might mean power will have to be disconnected to other units.

If repairs haven’t been made by then, Chopp said, the authority may disconnect power to other units.