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Bel Marine Retirement Residents Moved due to Electrical Issues

The residents of the Bel Marine Retirement Residence have been temporarily moved pending an ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) investigation into major electrical issues. The article below is from the Belleville Intelligencer and covers the details of the story.

“Residents moved for safety”

By W. Brice McVicar, The Intelligencer

Thirty residents of a Belleville retirement home have been relocated after major electrical issues were identified at the Dundas Street East facility.

The seniors were moved from the Bel Marine Retirement Residence Sunday after an anonymous caller alerted the Belleville fire department to concerns. That call prompted a visit from fire prevention officers who contacted the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA).

Owners of the retirement home could not be reached for comment and a sign posted to the building’s front door advised the site is closed until further notice.

Norm Mitts, fire prevention officer with Belleville’s fire department, said “there were a number of temporary electrical devices in place” at the site resulting in a decision to declare it unsafe for residents.

“The Electrical Safety Authority was dispatched to the property and after a long, extensive inspection of the electrical system it was deemed to be unsafe to keep the residents in the building. The hydro service in the building had to be reduced to a minimal amount,” said Mitts.

Those 30 residents, he said, have been moved to families’ homes, another retirement home and, in some cases, to a local hotel. The length of the relocation has not been determined.

“I’d be speculating if I said it could be weeks,” said Mitts.

Kathryn Chopp, general manager of communications and stakeholder relations with the ESA, said an investigator with the authority found “several significant electrical safety hazards.” Those hazards posed an immediate risk to the residents and the property.

“We saw signs of over heating in the wiring and also there was water leaking in behind an electrical panel,” said Chopp. “It’s pretty serious stuff. We call these life and/or property hazards and, generally speaking, when we see those the power is disconnected to those components immediately.”

What power has remained on is purely essential. The building’s heat, refrigeration units, sump pump and fire alarm remain on while everything else has been shut off to protect the building.

“Our inspector has provided the list of all the electrical issues to the building’s owner and operator. Obviously, all of them need to be addressed or repaired before we can authorize full power to be restored to the building. Essentially, the ball’s in the court of the retirement home owner to address the electrical issues and we’ll go back to inspect them to make sure everything has been made safe,” said Chopp.

Source: Belleville Intelligencer