Rooming house operator, owner plead guilty to fire code violations that killed tenant
The logo for Toronto Fire Services is shown in this file photo. (Toronto Fire Service)
Hilary Caton, CTV News Toronto
Published Thursday, November 9, 2017 5:20PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017 5:21PM EST
The owner and operator of an unlicensed rooming house in Scarborough have pleaded guilty to Ontario Fire Code violations, after a tenant was killed in a fire.
The fatal fire broke out in the home at 117 Birkdale Rd. on Dec. 29, 2015. Four people were taken to hospital in critical condition while two other people were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.
The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office said the fire was started accidentally.
After further inspection by Toronto Fire Services, they found the rooming house had numerous violations related to the home’s smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, fire separations, the absence of a fire alarm system. They also found violations related to insufficient exiting, fire extinguishers, fire rated doors and exit signs.
Property owner Jagdamba Joshi and the operator of the unlicensed rooming house, Andre Durant pleaded guilty Wednesday.
Joshi was fined $36,000 and a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge in addition to court costs.
The operator also received a suspended sentence and a two-year probation order under section 72 of the Provincial Offences Act.
"This terrible fire is a grim reminder that violations of the Fire Code can pose serious risks and result in tragic consequences," said Jim Jessop, Deputy Fire Chief with the City of Toronto, in a news release.
"Toronto Fire Services is committed to ensuring appropriate measures are taken by property owners to achieve both compliance and fire safety."