Montreal

Manoir Chomedey seniors' home to be stripped of certification over safety concerns

Dozens of seniors in Laval will be transferred to a new nursing home because the Quebec government and firefighting officials are worried for their safety.

Quebec says lives of 150 elderly patients would be in danger in event of a fire at Laval seniors' home

About 150 seniors live at Manoir Chomedey. More than half of them have reduced mobility. (Radio-Canada)

Dozens of seniors in Laval will be transferred to a new nursing home because the Quebec government and firefighting officials are worried for their safety.

Radio-Canada has learned that Manoir Chomedey, one of Laval's largest seniors' residences, will be stripped of its certification of compliance because the building's fire safety standards are not up to date.

Officials from the Health Ministry, as well as the Laval fire department, say they are worried that the lives of the 150 seniors who live there would be in danger in the event of a fire.

 This is probably the worst case I've had to deal with,- André St-Hilaire, Laval fire prevention chief

"In terms of a safety plan, this is probably the worst case I've had to deal with when it comes to seniors' homes," said André St-Hilaire, fire prevention chief for the Laval fire department.

St-Hilaire told Radio-Canada that besides not having a proper fire-safety plan in place, there hasn't been a fire drill there in four years.

Manoir Chomedey, one of Laval's largest seniors' homes, is located at 1000 Chomedey Boulevard, north of Notre-Dame Boulevard. More than half its residents have reduced mobility.

The fire department says it has been trying to put pressure on the building's owner, Toronto businessman Adel Kirloss, for years to improve fire safety at the building.

"Unfortunately, there are still some owners who have not learned the lessons that came out of the fire in L'Isle-Verte," St-Hilaire said.

In 2014, a fire broke out inside a nursing home in L'Isle-Verte, Que., killing 32 seniors and injuring 15 others.

"We could say that the owner does not make fire safety his priority and has not chosen to make the necessary investments to improve the safety of his residents," St-Hilaire told Radio-Canada.

André St-Hilaire, Laval's fire prevention chief, says every time firefighters are called to Manoir Chomedey, the evacuation process does not go smoothly. (Radio-Canada)
St-Hilaire said that smoke detectors are either missing, defective or out of date at Manoir Chomedey, and every time the fire department responds to a call at that address, the evacuation doesn't go well.

"In the last two years, we've been called to that building six or seven times. Each time, the firefighters noticed that it was disorganized, the personnel did not know what to do, and the evacuation would not go smoothly," St-Hilaire said. "So what would happen during a real fire?"

Kirloss, the owner of the Manoir Chomedey, had promised to make changes after receiving 18 pages worth of violations.

But the province has ruled it's too late.

The CISSS de Laval, the city's regional health agency, will be removing 36 seniors who it considers would not be able to get out in the event of a fire.

They will be transferred to another residence.

It is not yet known what will happen to the other 110 seniors.

Kirloss could not be reached for comment.

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