Toronto Fire charged a number of individuals associated with two fire prevention companies on Thursday for allegedly failing to test and maintain fire safety systems in three buildings, including two highrise condos on the lakefront.
If convicted, the accused face fines of between $50,000 and $100,000, as well as the possibility of a year in jail.
Deputy Fire Chief Jim Jessop told reporters a year-long investigation with “countless” hours of work went into the charges. He also blasted the companies involved, calling their alleged neglect “appalling.”
The alleged wrongdoing took place at 1100 Birchmount Road, in Scarborough, and at two condo towers on Harbour Square — just south of Queen’s Quay and York Street.
In the Birchmount investigation, fire officials allege the accused:
Failed to inspect, test, repair or replace parts of the fire alarm system.
Failed to keep the fire alarm and sprinkler system in operating condition.
On Harbour Square, the charges relate to:
Failing to maintain the fire alarm system.
Failing to ensure elevators are tested.
Failing to ensure emergency power systems are tested and maintained.
Failing to ensure an annual inspection is done on fire protection tanks.
Jessop said building managers hired the companies to do important fire prevention work that was never done. Jessop says that puts residents, the public and firefighters at risk.
Since the discovery, Jessop says fire officials have been working with the affected buildings to ensure everything is safe.
He also didn’t rule out laying more charges, if Toronto Fire discovers the companies have done similar things in the past.
CBC Toronto reached one of the men accused in the probe, who denied any wrongdoing. The charges have not yet been proven in court.