North

Whitehorse fire chief evicts residents of Jamieson's building

Residents of the Jamieson's building in downtown Whitehorse were forced out of their homes on Friday, after the city's fire chief issued eviction notices, citing 'numerous fire and life safety issues' with the apartment units.

Fire chief cites 'numerous' fire and safety concerns with downtown building

The owner of the Jamieson's building was told earlier this month that upstairs residents had to vacate their units by Jan. 22. The fire chief's order does not apply to a pawn shop on the main floor of the building. (Mardy Derby/CBC)

Residents of a downtown Whitehorse apartment block have been forced to vacate their homes, after the city's fire chief issued eviction notices.

Chief Kevin Lyslo said there were "numerous fire and life safety issues" with the Jamieson's building on 4th Avenue, making the upstairs apartments unsafe.

"In light of the vulnerable population that resides there, we felt it was no longer acceptable to let people to reside there on the top floor of that occupancy."

Residents had to be out of their apartments by last Friday, at midnight. Lyslo was not sure exactly how many people were affected, or how many of the eight to ten apartments were occupied, but he said all residents have now moved out.

"It's our job to ensure for all residents in our community that the places that they are renting, whether it's an apartment building or a motel, are safe," Lyslo said.

The building's owner is appealing the fire chief's order. Inspectors from the Yukon Fire Marshal's office were expected to do another inspection of the building, to determine whether the order will stand, be rescinded or amended.

Fire Marshal Dennis Berry said in the meantime, the city was working with the territory's health and social services department to help residents find new accommodation.

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