Fire Fighting in Canada

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Company fined over construction site blaze

Kingston, Ont. - A company and three individuals have been fined after pleading guilty to charges arising from a fire at a Kingston, Ont., construction project that saw a crane operator rescued by a military helicopter.

Jay Patry Enterprises Inc. pleaded guilty of failing as a constructor to ensure that measures in the Construction Projects Regulation were carried out and was fined $60,000.

Company owners Jason and Nathan Patry pleaded guilty for failing to furnish all necessary means in their power to facilitate an investigation by an inspector and were fined $7,500 and $4,000 respectively.

Troy Joseph Stelmach of Stelmach Property Management Inc., was fined $2,500 on the same charge.

When fire broke out at the project on Dec. 17, 2013, most of the workers were evacuated unharmed. However, a crane operator was forced to flee the cab and crawl out on the boom of the crane, and suffered burns before he was eventually rescued by a military helicopter.

The Fire Marshal was not able to determine the specific cause or origin of the fire. The Ministry of Labour found insufficient standpipe – pipes required to mitigate potential fire damage – had been installed at the project site.

In a separate proceeding last month, the crane company, A & A Crane Inc. of Waterdown, Ont., was found guilty of failing to comply with a requirement of an inspector in relation to the project and was fined $8,000.

The crane company's owner, Aram Malek of Hamilton, was convicted of two counts under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Malek was found guilty of several counts, including knowingly furnishing an inspector with false information or neglecting or refusing to furnish information required by an inspector, and was fined a total of $19,000.

The blaze, which forced more than 150 people from their homes, was so intense that surrounding buildings had their windows blown out, a duplex and a hotel were destroyed, and vehicles caught on fire.

Crane operator Adam Jastrzebski suffered burns to his hands, legs, back and buttocks, as he waited on the boom of his crane before he was lifted to safety by the helicopter.

May 20, 2015  By The Canadian Press

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