Ottawa landlord fined $75,000 for fire code violations
An Ottawa landlord is being slapped with $75,000 worth of fines after a fire code investigation into 16 properties in the city of Ottawa.
The investigation was first launched in March 2013 after a fire at 371 Gilmour St. in Centretown. A man, trying to escape the blaze, had jumped from the third floor and suffered injuries to his leg and pelvis. Fire officials say the fire code violations were so bad in that case, they launched investigations into similar properties owned by Saickley Enterprises Ltd.
Eight corporate entities plead guilty to a total of 120 violations under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.
Acting Deputy Cheif for Ottawa Fire Phil Muggleton says in his 30-plus years on the force, it's the most violations he's seen in one case. But he wouldn't give specifics about what the violations were.
"It would deal with sprinkler systems, fire alarms systems, exit lighting, emergency lighting, access to exits," he says.
The news has some residents in the Gilmour St. complex concerned.
"It has to make you nervous because after all, it's your security," says one resident who didn't want to be named. "So I don't like the fact that they've been negligent about that."
Other residents were defending the property owners, saying they've been doing work to improve the systems.
"Since (the fire) happened, there's been a lot of fire marshals checking the place out, changing the fire detectors, fixing the electrical problems," says Brad Martel, who's lived in the building for two years. "If not for that, I'd be a lot more nervous."
On Thursday afternoon, Saickley issued a statement through their lawyer. The company says all buildings have been brought up to code and they remain safe for all residents. They'll also continue to work cooperatively with the Ottawa Fire Department.