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Landlord hit with 10 charges after fatal fire

Toronto Sun - December 30, 1999
by Michael Clement

A Toronto landlord says he's "co-operating with the authorities" after his company was charged by the Toronto Fire Department with 10 counts of violating Ontario's fire code.

Gamal Hanna, who controls the company that owns a townhouse complex at 803 Kennedy Rd., was served yesterday with a summons outlining the 10 charges.

Stacey Telalidis, 25, and her children, Ashley, 4, and Jesse, 2, died of smoke inhalation when they were trapped on the third floor of their townhome by an early-morning fire Dec. 17 at the Kennedy Rd. complex.

It's believed to be the first time a Toronto landlord has faced charges under the fire code.

"Six (charges) are failing to provide smoke alarms," said Mike Strapko, information officer with the Toronto fire department, "and there are four charges of failing to maintain smoke alarms in operating condition."

"This pertains to the whole complex, and there are eight townhomes," he said. "It's not just the unit where the fire was."

Hanna said last night his company lawyer is "investigating the tragedy."

But he refused to say whether they'd be installing smoke alarms.

"We are co-operating with the authorities," he said, without elaborating further.

The charges will be heard in civil court starting Jan. 28. Each charge carries a maximum fine of $50,000, according to Strapko.

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