A Toronto building owner was fined almost $100,000 for fire code violations tied to fire at an industrial building containing chemicals often used to produce methamphetamine.
A large quantity of highly flammable and combustible chemicals were found in connection with a fire at 96 Rivalda Dr. in 2017. The property owner, identified as 1203943 Ontario Inc., pleaded guilty in Provincial Offences Court on Dec. 21 to multiple violations of the Ontario Fire Code and was fined $93,000 plus a 25 per cent Victim Fine Surcharge and court costs.
“This fire is a reminder of the significant risks our firefighters often encounter and the significant danger associated with the production of illicit drugs such as methamphetamine,” said Jim Jessop, City of Toronto deputy fire chief. “Toronto Fire Services will use all available enforcement tools in situations like this that result in a serious threat to public safety and responding fire fighters.”
The violations include:
• Count 1: activities creating a hazard not permitted in the original building design – fine of $50,000
• Count 2: no signage to indicate where smoking not permitted – suspended sentence
• Count 3: no fire safety plan – fine of $2,000
• Count 4: electrical equipment not in conformance with Electrical Safety Code – fine of $1,000
• Count 5: spill of flammable or combustible liquids not prevented from flowing outside spill area – fine of $5,000
• Count 6: no approved and implemented spill control procedures– fine of $5,000
• Count 7: no ventilation provided – fine of $5,000
• Count 8: excessive volume of flammable and combustible liquids, and insufficient fire separation – fine of $5,000
• Count 9: storage room not designed to prevent critical structural and mechanical damage from internal fire explosion – fine of $5,000
• Count 10: compressed gas not stored as required– fine of $5,000 plus surcharges
• Count 11: no required fire separation where hydrogen chloride compressed gas cylinders stored – fine of $5,000
• Count 12: cylinders containing poisonous compressed gas stored in a room containing combustible and flammable liquid– fine of $5,000
In addition to the fines related to the violations of the Ontario Fire Code, Toronto Fire Services ordered the owner to pay $137,000 for the costs incurred for safely removing the thousands of liters of highly flammable and combustible chemicals from the property after the fire.
Given the significant damage caused by the fire, Toronto Fire’s investigators classified the cause of the fire as undetermined.