Building owner receives six-figure fine for vacant house fire in Winnipeg
Owners of nine vacant buildings that burned down have been hit with a wide range of fines, with one amount surpassing six figures.
Two weeks ago the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service announced it had started charging the owners following a bylaw change at Council in January.
Now the WFPS has released the value of the fines. Five of them run between $4,778 to $7,718. The remaining four range between $27,565 to $103,772.
Only one on the fines – worth $4,778 – has been paid in full.
A document from the City of Winnipeg shows outstanding fines for owners of properties damaged by fire.
The move to charge the owners the cost of fighting fires in the empty houses and buildings comes as the city grapples with a rise in these types of blazes.
Last year, Winnipeg saw 84 vacant property fires, up from 64 in 2021, and 41 in 2020. So far this year, 32 have been reported.
Councillors and the WFPS say the want to see the empty buildings fixed up for people to live in to help revitalize areas of the inner city. Many of these vacant homes are prone to fire, vandalism and other crimes.
Last week, Councillors Cindy Gilroy and Vivian Santos put forward a motion to have property owners charged the cost to clean up sites where piles of rubble remain for more than six months following demolition.
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