Ledo Hotel deemed an immediate threat to life
Due to multiple issues ranging from a roof leak to trespassing in the building, the Ontario Fire Marshal has determined that conditions at the old Ledo hotel pose an immediate threat to life.
A notice signed by Sudbury Fire Platoon Chief Andre Groulx was posted on entrances to the building located at 300 Elm St. after Greater Sudbury Fire Services reportedly responded to a fire in a single unit on Sunday morning.
The fire was extinguished by firefighters upon their arrival and no one was hurt during the incident, said a city spokesperson.
However, firefighters noted a number of safety issues while they were in the premises.
The notice indicates that Groulx had “reasonable grounds to believe that a risk of fire” posed an immediate danger to residents.
Those grounds included water from a roof leak running through a live electrical panel, high voltage (347-600Volts) wiring in the main electrical room exposed, an inoperable fire alarm system due to water leaks and the electrical in the building being disconnected, trespassing and breaking and entering throughout the entire building, and alternative ways to heating when the power is disconnected.
Greater Sudbury Fire Services entered the property without a warrant to remove or reduce the threat to life by implementing a number of procedures, according to the notice.
These include posting a fire watch, eliminating ignition sources, and doing “anything that the Fire Marshal, an assistant to the Fire Marshal or a Fire Chief had reason to believe was urgently required to remove or reduce the threat to life,” which meant disconnecting Hydro at the hydro pole so that the building no longer has power.
While the notice did not indicate that the current tenants of the building were removed from the premises, there were chains on the front door of the building on Monday.
A city spokesperson confirmed that the building’s 13 residents were displaced as a result of the fire.
“The residents were quickly transported to the Centre de santé to have their needs assessed and are being provided temporary housing until they can return to their residences,” said Kelly Brooks.
Shane Messier, an individual who works in the area and is familiar with some of the residents of the building, said that the tenants were recently notified of a new development on the Ledo property.
“I think they were given notice that they would have to leave within the next year or so,” he said.
The Immediate Threat to Life notice lists the current owner of the Ledo hotel as George Soule of 502 Holdings Inc.
In addition, 502 Holdings owns the parking lot beside the Ledo and the adjacent rooming house at 247 Shaughnessy St., according to a listing posted on realtor.ca.
A Sudbury-based private sector group called Le Ledo Inc. announced in early October they were under contract to purchase the site. Their plan is to build a 150,000-square-foot commercial development.
Le Ledo Inc. issued a statement about the fire on Monday evening.
“It is with great shock and sadness to hear through the media this afternoon that a fire happened Sunday, Oct. 25 at the Ledo leading to the displacement of the residents. While Le Ledo Inc. has entered into an agreement to purchase the building, (it) has not taken ownership or possession of the property,” the release said.
“Le Ledo Inc. was looking forward to working with the city and local social service agencies to assist with the transition of the people in the building. Le Ledo Inc. is committed to the betterment of our community. We are thankful no one was injured on the weekend.”
Those familiar with the area said that the Ledo property has been experiencing chronic issues related to poor living conditions for some time. It is also known to house some of Sudbury’s most vulnerable communities and offers relatively affordable accommodations.
A former resident of the building, Raymond Roy, told The Sudbury Star there are about 25 rooms in the building, and they are rented to tenants for about $480 to $600 per month.
“When I used to live there, you’d walk into my room and there was a giant hole in the wall. The mice used to climb through the hole and get into my room,” said Roy, who is now homeless.
“There are cockroaches, bed bugs. It’s so bad in there. I say, tear it down. A new building here would be better than this. It’s a slum.”
The exact number of rooms in the building and the rent prices have not been confirmed by the landlord.
Sudbury Fire Platoon Chief Andre Laurin said that the Fire Marshal does not have the authority to officially condemn a building. He said that this is a “temporary measure,” and it would be up to Building Services to do an inspection.
Platoon Chief Andre Groulx, who signed the notice posted on the door, and the owner of 502 Holdings Inc. were not immediately available for comment.
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