Port Colbrone fire authorities are calling an $125,000 fire code violation a wake up call to all building owners.
This comes after a tragic fire claimed the lives of 4 family members in a rented home nearly two years ago.
“It breaks my heart, one day they’re there playing, having fun. the next, they’re totally gone.”
Emotions are still raw for a community dealing with the loss of four of its members.
“This is definitely not something that’s going to be easily forgotten, it will be on the minds of a lot of people.”
In December of 2016 a blaze began at a Nickel street home; killing Tammy Burd, her two children: 15 year old Samantha and 2 year old Joshua, and her mother, Eva.
The lot where the 2 story home once stood is now vacant. An investigation into the fire revealing that the owner of the home had failed to maintain working smoke alarms.
Yesterday, homeowner Nelly Engelage was convicted on two counts of failing to comply with the Ontario fire code.
“They were fined the maximum amount available to us under the fire code, $50,000 per count. plus a 25 percent victim surcharge, so that’s $125,000.”
Port Colborne Mayor John Maloney says the fine should serve as a wake-up call to building owners.
“There were no fire detectors of any nature in the premises, a provincial statue requires this and those that don’t have it, and there are many, will have the consequences.”
Although others say a fine isn’t nearly enough.
“Something didn’t just go up in flames, people lost their lives from negligence and its not right.”
Engelage also owns several other rental properties, and the the fire department says those buildings have come under increased scrutiny as a result.