New Brunswick

Miramichi landlord working 'full blast' to have displaced tenants return soon

The owner of a Miramichi apartment building forced to close last week because of unsafe living conditions says work is underway to have the more than 50 tenants return as soon as possible. 

Brian Grosseth says some will live in vacant apartments while work in one area is completed

Tenants of 15 Cole Cres. are still waiting to return to their apartments after being told June 19 by the fire marshal that the three-storey apartment building was not up to code. (Steve MacDonald/Facebook)

The owner of a Miramichi apartment building forced to close last week because of unsafe living conditions says work is underway to have the more than 50 tenants return as soon as possible. 

The residents of the 42 units — 19 apartments and 23 hostel-style rooms — were given four hours notice on June 19 to leave after a fire marshal deemed the building at 15 Cole Cres. unsafe because of ongoing renovations that left exposed wiring in hallways and stairwells.

When contacted Monday, Brian Grosseth said the goal was to get most of the tenants back in as soon as possible. 

"We're working full blast. We're working late hours," said the owner of the three-storey building.

Grosseth said he's staying in touch with tenants who are anxious to hear when they can return.

While Red Cross said 41 of the tenants registered with the organization, there are about 17 still at an emergency shelter. 

That emergency shelter was moved on Sunday to James M. Hill Memorial High School after a scheduling conflict at the Golden Hawk Gym meant a new location had to be found. 

Work ongoing

Grosseth said a locksmith was at the building Monday checking all the doors and closers on the fire doors. 

"In two days, I think we'll have the electrical guys come in and check to see that everything is in order so we can put the Gyprock back up in the front area," he said.

Grosseth said the wiring can't be covered until electrical inspectors deem it safe. 

The owner said because it's an old military building things were done differently that now have to be changed, including moving panels higher up on the walls. 

The fire marshal also ordered Grosseth to install fire doors on the entrances into a lounge and common kitchen he built. 

"If anything happens in the kitchen, it could spread to the hallways and that's understandable and I never even thought of that," he said.

Grosseth said that will take a bit of time and it will mean that hallway will be the last to open up. 

"The three on the other side will probably be pretty quick days, and the hallway upstairs where we're taking off Gyprock, that will take a bit longer," he said.

As a result of that delay, Grosseth said the people who live in that area of the building will be moved to apartments or rooms on the lower level that were empty.

With files from Shift New Brunswick

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