Court fines Gravenhurst landlord $7,500 over fire code violations

GRAVENHURST — The landlord of a small four-plex apartment building has been fined $7,500 for fire vilations.

Fines of totalling $7,500 have been levied by the courts under the Ontario Fire Protection Act.

Gravenhurst Fire officials say the owner was fined in Bracebridge Provincial Offences Court Tuesday, Jan. 29, after pleading guilty to two counts of “Failing to Comply” with inspection orders by the fire department.

According to a GFD release, in August 2018 the fire Department conducted an inspection of the John Street apartment, which contained four living units, and found a number of fire safety deficiencies, including smoke and carbon monoxide alarm issues.

The inspector subsequently issued orders under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act specifying timelines to bring the building into compliance.

Though several deficiencies were corrected by the landlord, the Fire Department found that several deficiencies relating to a fire safety plan, record keeping and an accumulation of combustible materials had not been properly addressed and further charges were laid under the act in October.

“Building owners have an obligation to know and understand their responsibilities under the lawm,” said Fire Chief Larry Brassard. “When it comes to the safety of tenants, the Fire Department is committed to ensuring that everyone in our community lives in safe conditions.

“We have a duty to act on the complaints we receive, and are committed to doing so,” he added.

The chief stressed that the town’s purpose is not to punish, but rather pursue safety matters to the point where buildings are brought into compliance with the legislation, which applies to all municipalities in Ontario.

He said in most cases, where a building owner complies with orders, charges are not necessary.

“In this instance, since the charges were laid, the landlord has moved the building much closer toward compliance and they continue to do so.”

Brassard said that as of Monday, a couple of minor issues still need to be addressed “and our inspector will be pursuing these in the days and weeks ahead.”

“Failing this, additional charges may be laid,” he said.