Retirement residence ordered closed by Kingston Fire Marshall

The Kingston Fire Marshall's truck is reflected in Fairfield Manor West's front door, where several fire notices have been posted.
The Kingston Fire Marshall’s truck is reflected in Fairfield Manor West’s front door, where several fire notices have been posted.

Fairfield Manor West, a retirement residence in Kingston’s west end, has been ordered vacated by the Fire Marshall after its failure to address safety concerns related to a severe lack of staffing.

Kingston Fire & Rescue Inspector Ted Posadowski issued the order on the morning of Monday, Sept. 3, 2018, following a failed inspection on August 31st which required the owners to conduct ongoing fire watches until the concerns were rectified.

“On Friday the owner of Fairfield Manor Retirement Residence was charged for failing to comply with regulations with respect to fire safety for residents who are vulnerable occupants,” Fire Chief Shawn Armstrong said in a press release from the City of Kingston.

“Over the weekend the situation continued to demonstrate (sic) and insufficient Fairfield staff members were on duty, or trained, to suitably carry out the owner’s responsibilities under the fire code.”

Kingston Fire and Rescue made every effort to work with the owner, Q & Sons Management Inc, to ensure compliance with legislative requirements under the Ontario Fire Code, according to the press release. Chief Armstrong said fire safety plans were to be maintained and in place for the safe evacuation of all occupants should a fire occur.

“I am no longer confident a safe occupancy can be maintained with the owner’s staff resources,” he said.

Several staff members had quit in past months over allegations of unpaid wages, leading to the critical staffing shortage. The retirement residence is privately owned and care is regulated by the Province.

Most residents of the retirement residence had already been relocated by the afternoon of September 3. Although the City said the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) successfully relocated all residents, a few remained on site without alternate housing. Kingston Fire & Rescue and remaining staff said they were working with residents’ families to find alternate accommodations. Neither staff nor Kingston Fire & Rescue could say how many residents had been affected.

More to come.

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