A Provincial Offences Court has announced a conviction and levied a fine of $60,000 plus a $15,000 victim surcharge against the owner of an illegal rooming house at 189 Sheridan Ave., Toronto, in which a tenant died in a fire. The owner, Konstantin Lysenko, entered into a period of probation for 18 months with the standard conditions and an additional condition that he not possess or manage any rental property for the 18-month probation period.
The property at 189 Sheridan Ave. was a three-storey, wood-frame detached dwelling that had been converted into an unregistered, illegal rooming house. The building was three storeys above grade and one storey below grade, with a brick exterior. It had approximately seven rooms, three kitchens and three bathrooms.
On November 20, 2013, there was a fire in the basement of 189 Sheridan Ave. A 23-year-old woman in the basement apartment was unable to escape at the time of the fire. She was trapped in her apartment and succumbed to her injuries.
The City's Fire Prevention Officer later observed several fire code violations, noting that the smoke alarms were not maintained in operating condition by the owner and were broken. Batteries from the second and third floor alarms did not work when tested and on the first floor, there was a smoke-alarm base only in the kitchen. Smoke alarms are one of the most important safety devices for the home and early notification of fire saves lives.
In addition, the third floor lacked a second exit.