Tenants turfed after fire code violation
More than 25 people were evicted without warning from an apartment building on Tupper St. at the corner of St. Marc St. Friday night due to an apparent fire code violation.
Police and firefighters showed up at the building at 1900 Tupper St. Friday evening on a tip that the owner was operating a rooming house without a permit. Eight apartment buildings had been rebuilt into 40 rooms with shared facilities such as bathrooms and kitchen areas.
Firefighters discovered the building lacked smoke alarms and there were very few fire escapes. One fire-escape ladder dangled precariously three storeys high, a clear violation of the city's fire code.
"There were several violations, including no working smoke detectors," said fire chief Alain Rouleau.
They instructed residents, many of them international university students, to pack their belongings and leave immediately. The Red Cross brought 27 residents to the Park Inn on Cote-de-Liesse in St. Laurent.
"I go to McGill, so I have to get downtown and I can't figure that out yet. And I'm actually from the States, so I don't really have family here," said resident Holly Fan.
Students at downtown universities were displeased with the location of their temporary housing.
"Tupper was, like, right around the corner from Concordia, so now I have to travel 40 minutes to go downtown," said resident Michelle Berube.
"Right now we try to keep most people here because we have a lot of room here," said Erik Dionne of the Red Cross.
The Red Cross has relocated the evicted tenants until at least Tuesday. More tenants, expected to arrive into town in the coming week, will likely also need assistance.