Peterborough Landlord sentenced due to violation of Ontario Fire Code

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A landlord of a property on King Street has been sentenced to seven days in jail and two years
probation after a house was repeatedly found to be in violation of Ontario Fire Code
regulations, despite numerous attempts by Peterborough Fire Services to work with the
property owner to resolve the matter.
Sean Paul Cowling pleaded guilty to “failing to ensure that each floor area shall be served by
at least two exits”, before Justice of the Peace Karen Walker in the Ontario Court of Justice on
May 3, 2018. Other Fire Code offences have been withdrawn as the property is no longer
occupied.
Peterborough Fire Services conducted a fire safety inspection at the property on King Street in
September 2016 that led to a $10,000 conviction in September 2017 for failing to comply with
an Inspection Order. Later in September 2017, a fire safety complaint was received regarding
the same house on King Street that was being occupied by students. A subsequent fire safety
inspection found that none of the previously identified Fire Code issues had been addressed
by the owner. At the time of the inspection, 15 students were living in the five-bedroom house.
“Peterborough Fire Services works with property owners when seeking compliance with the
Ontario Fire Code,” stated Cathy Robertson, Chief Fire Prevention Officer. “Most property
owners comply with Inspection Orders; however, sometimes we need to seek compliance
through the court system. We want to ensure all residents of our city are safe from fire. A jail
sentence by the Court in relation to Fire Code violations is unusual and reflects the repeated
failure to comply with the safety regulations.”
Residents are reminded to ensure they have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and
to practice home escape planning. Contact Peterborough Fire Services at 705-745-3284 for
Code compliance inquiries and fire safety complaints.