Numerous charges to be laid in multiple incidents of Fire Code violations in Toronto

TORONTO - Three recent fires and an incident where three people were sent to hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning has resulted in Toronto Fire Services laying multiple charges for Ontario Fire Code violations.

Toronto Fire Services was called to a home early in the morning on November 25, 2015, when it was reported that occupants had repeatedly passed out. Upon arrival, Toronto firefighters rescued two adults and a child, who were immediately transported to a hospital. In addition, a firefighter was taken to hospital for carbon-monoxide exposure.

Toronto Fire Services conducted air-monitoring tests and found readings of carbon monoxide at 900 parts per million, which far exceeds acceptable levels. Toronto Fire Services will charge the owner of the home for allegedly disabling a carbon-monoxide alarm.

The implementation of the Hawkins Gignac Act (Carbon Monoxide Safety) Ontario Regulation 194/14 amended the Ontario Fire Code, with Royal Assent on December 12, 2013, establishing the legal requirement as of October 15, 2014 to maintain and test carbon-monoxide alarms in all residential occupancies.

Other recent incidents have also resulted in Ontario Fire Code violations.

Toronto Fire Services and the provincial Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management found numerous violations in a November 22nd fatal fire on Vinci Crescent, where the home owner died in the basement.

An investigation of this $40,000, two-alarm fire noted that the building was divided into multiple units, with a number of violations regarding smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, fire separations, and continuous/unobstructed exits from the premises. A press release from the City of Toronto stated that had the fire not claimed the homeowner's life, charges would have been laid.

On November 18th, Toronto Fire Services was called to a fire at 1265 College St., which escalated to a three-alarm fire involving 18 fire trucks and 75 firefighters. Toronto firefighters talked one person out of jumping from a second-floor roof area and quickly rescued the person using a ladder. Eight occupants were in the house at the time of the fire; three of them were transported to a hospital for smoke inhalation.

The second floor of the three-storey house sustained significant fire damage before firefighters knocked down the blaze at 6 am. A post-fire inspection noted numerous Ontario Fire Code violations and determined that the residence was being operated as a rooming house.

On November 17th, Toronto Fire Services was called to a fire at a Marconi Court rooming house, which escalated to a two-alarm fire involving 25 fire trucks and 85 firefighters. This fire began in the kitchen area, causing approximately $100,000 of damage. Three people were able to self-evacuate.

The second fire at an O'Hara Avenue duplex involved 19 trucks and 63 firefighters. This one-alarm fire started in the attic, due to electrical failure. All who were home were able to evacuate, however, five occupants are now displaced.

In both incidents, after the fire was under control, post-fire inspections to determine compliance with the Ontario Fire Code noted numerous alleged violations.

Violations of the Ontario Fire Code are serious public safety concerns and charges can be initiated in the Provincial Offences Court. The penalties for Fire Code violations run up to $50,000 and/or a year in jail for individuals and up to $100,000 for a corporation.

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