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Owner of illegal East York rooming house faces more charges in 2018 fire

Last Updated Mar 29, 2019 at 5:57 pm EST

More charges are being laid against the owners of a Scarborough rooming house after a fire late last year.

Toronto Fire officials say they still don’t know exactly what caused the November 1 fire at 1320 Victoria Park Ave, but their investigation did turn up numerous fire code violations.

Those violations included not having a safety plan, blocked emergency exit routes, and the absence of a working fire alarm system.

According to city bylaws, the Victoria Park home is located in an area where rooming houses are not allowed.

When the fire broke out, as many as eight people were living in the home. Everyone escaped unharmed.

The owners of the house and the operator, Winston Manning, could face up to $50,000 in fines and a year in jail if found guilty on these new charges.

At the time of the fire, Manning was under probation and not allowed to operate a group home or rooming house if it was not compliant with regulations.

An OPP investigation described the conditions at some of Manning’s homes as “deplorable,” and found people sleeping on mattresses on the floor; mouse feces and the scent of urine in the home.

Manning and his management company, Comfort Residential Group Home, were hit with over $80,000 in fines just last year because of the same property.

Manning also faces an additional charge for violating a probation order stemming from those charges.