Fire code charges laid against owners of 1320 Victoria Park Ave.

Charges for Ontario Fire Code violations have been laid against the owners and operator of a multi-unit residential house following a structure fire at 1320 Victoria Park Ave. on November 1, 2018.

Due to the use of the building and significant fire damage, an investigation was conducted by the Toronto Fire Services Investigations Division. The cause of the fire was classified as undetermined.

In addition to conducting the investigation into the origin, cause and circumstances of the fire, Toronto Fire Investigators also conducted a post-fire inspection to assess fire safety to determine compliance with the Ontario Fire Code. The inspection confirmed the building was being occupied as a rooming house with six tenants.

A number of Fire Code violations were noted, including:

•breaches in fire separations
•obstructions in a means of egress
•absence of a fire safety plan
•absence of the required number of exits
•absence of a fire alarm system
•absence of exit signs.

Toronto Fire Services has laid charges in Provincial Offences Court against the registered owners of the house, Andrew Charles and Nekeeda Morgan, and against the operator of the rooming house, Winston Manning. In addition, Toronto Fire Services has charged Winston Manning with failing to comply with a Probation Order.

Violations of the Ontario Fire Code pose a serious risk to building occupants and responding firefighters. The penalties for violations run up to $50,000 and/or one year in jail for individuals, and up to $100,000 for a corporation.

Toronto Fire Services continues to work to reduce risk through fire prevention and enforcement strategies against owners who fail to meet the Ontario Fire Code and jeopardize the safety of individuals and responding firefighters. Toronto Fire Services is committed to ensuring that appropriate measures are taken by property owners to achieve fire safety through compliance with the Ontario Fire Code and the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.

The City of Toronto’s Municipal Licensing and Standards (ML&S) division has also been involved with this property. ML&S has issued a number of Orders against the property owner for various bylaw deficiencies relating to property standards and waste.

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