Several tenants remain in limbo after Miramichi building deemed unsafe

Dozens of people in Miramachi, N.B., are still trying to figure out their next move after they forced out of their building on Wednesday due to safety reasons.

Tenants of the hostel and apartment complex on Cole Crescent were told on Wednesday at 11 a.m. that they had four hours to move out.

Fire inspectors determined the building with 19 apartments and 23 studio rooms was not up to code due to loose wires in the hallways.

Landlord Brian Grosseth says the loose wires in the building are the result of ongoing renovations.

Over 24 hours have passed since the decision, and evicted tenant Mary Robinson still isn’t sure what she’s going to do.

“My life is up in the air,” she said. “This is not the time for this to happen.

“I’ve got surgery coming up, and I’m homeless.”

Miramichi Fire Department Chief Tony Lloyd says it’s the first time he’s aware of they’ve had an eviction of this nature. But he says it all comes down to safety.

“Wires, fire blocks, door that are left open — things of that nature need to be addressed,” Lloyd said.

Tenants of the hostel in Miramichi meet with a Canadian Red Cross volunteer to learn more about their emergency lodging options.

Brian Grosseth, the building’s landlord and co-owner,  says he’s put a lot of time and over $1 million in the place, but says he was in the process of addressing the issues.

“All these less fortunate people that are in some of the rooms are now living in tents,” said Grosseth. “They’re staying on cots, and the Red Cross is doing what they can to help.”

The Canadian Red Cross says only about seven people stayed the night at the nearby Golden Hawk Recreation Centre.

“We’re offering them temporary shelter, we’re giving them food, and making sure that they have a safe place and a roof over their heads,” said Elizabeth Hendrick with the Red Cross.

There’s no clear timeline on when work on the building will be completed. Brian Grosseth says he’s aiming for tenants to return in a week or two.

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