Ontario’s Ministry of Labour has laid 22 charges against two companies and three people after a massive fire on Princess Street in Kingston, Ont., in December.
The fire at a housing complex under construction at 663 Princess Street trapped a crane operator above the flames, forcing his rescue by a search and rescue helicopter on the afternoon of Dec. 17.
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Tuesday, the ministry announced 10 charges against Jay Patry Enterprises, two charges against Stelmach Property Management and 10 combined charges against three people.
Charges against Jay Patry Enterprises, the complex’s developer, include:
- failure to ensure an adequate means of egress was provided from a work area to permit the evacuation of workers during an emergency.
- failure to take reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of workers, including ensuring a minimum of two exits on each level of a project and/or ensuring the maximum travel distance to an exit did not exceed 200 feet.
Contractor Stelmach Property Management is facing two counts of failure to comply with requirements issued by a Ministry of Labour inspector.
Jason Patry has also been charged with obstruction of a Ministry of Labour inspector while he, Nathan Patry and Troy Stelmach are accused of providing false information to a Ministry of Labour inspector.
The charges for obstructing and providing false information are in relation to the ministry’s investigation of the fire.
After the charges were announced, Jay Patry Enterprises denied any wrongdoing.
"Throughout the investigation JPE Inc. and Jay Patry worked in conjunction with the Ministry of Labour and cooperated throughout the investigation," the company said in a statement.
The company said in its statement that it provided standard means of egress and kept the fire extinguishers "maintained as required."
The three men and the companies are scheduled to appear in court in Kingston Sept. 30.