City of Ottawa issues order to fix 'unsafe building' after woman falls
The city of Ottawa has ordered the owners of an apartment building to inspect their balconies immediately and fix any that are broken. That, after a 19-year-old woman fell 4 storeys early Sunday morning when her railing gave way . The apartment building is at 2035 Othello Avenue in the city's southeast end. The city is calling this a "balcony failure.” The young woman injured can attest to that. She was in critical condition and underwent surgery yesterday after falling with her railing onto a concrete pad.
At Pleasant Park Place this morning, a CTV camera spotted a worker on a first floor balcony, testing the railing, pulling on it, tightening bolts and installing any missing ones.
It was at this building early Sunday morning where 4 floors up a woman tumbled onto a concrete pad.
‘It’s terrible, I’m scared now,’ says resident Danuta Kubiak, ‘I won't go on the balcony anymore.’
In fact that's exactly what the city of Ottawa is recommending: stay off the balconies until all the railings are checked. The city's chief building official, Frank Biden, issued an order today to Osgoode Properties, the owner of the building, to “remedy an unsafe building.”
“As a result of the balcony failure experienced early Sunday morning at 2035 Othello Avenue the City has taken steps to direct the property owner to investigate all balcony guards to ensure they are structurally safe. Staff will be reviewing the engineering reports including any remedial measures as may be identified by the engineer to address any further unsafe balcony guard conditions that could be hazardous to the health and safety of the residents."
Geoff Younghusband with Osgoode Properties doesn't believe there is a problem with the balconies but wants to reassure concerned residents.
‘Looking at the balcony, it doesn’t appear it broke,’ says Younghusband, ‘(but residents) just want to know they live in a safe building and we reassured them they do live in a safe building and we want to work with our engineers to do everything we can to make sure maintain it accordingly going forward.’
The railing from the woman’s 4th floor balcony was still lying on the concrete pad today. The railings actually sit right into brackets that are supposed to be bolted in. That is something the city's inspectors and the building’s own engineers will be looking for. It is something residents like Trevor Charlebois will be looking for, too. Charlebois is only 2 floors up but still concerned about the condition of his balcony that appeared to be missing a top bolt.
‘It does concern me a bit,’ says Charlebois, ‘because me and my dad like to sit on the balcony from time to time especially when it rains.’
Until further notice, though, the balconies are off limits. CTV was unable to get an update on the condition of the young woman. Police investigators are hoping to speak with her once she recovers from surgery and is able to talk.