Maine Landlord Slapped with $500,000 Fine for Ignoring Fire Code and Other Violations

Epic Landlord Fail. The owner of this building in Portland, Maine, faces a half-million dollar fine for life safety violations. Photo by Derek Davis, Portland Press Herald

The violations extend back several years, and include obstructed fire exits, lack of smoke alarms, leaky plumbing and bedbugs.

It should be noted that Portland, where I live, has become a hyper-vigilant city with regard to house fires, following a terrible blaze three years ago that killed several young people. The building was found to have blocked egress and many other code violations. Portland has created a new fire safety office, and uses NFPA’s 2009 Life Safety Code as its Fire Code, and it’s not uncommon for local firefighters to knock on your door and do a snap inspection. They have thousands of buildings to inspect.-M. Power

Epic Landlord Fail. The owner of this building in Portland, Maine, faces a half-million dollar fine for life safety violations. CW Staff Photo

The story was initially broken by the Portland Press Herald, and summarized here by WGME:

It’s the largest fine since the city formed a housing safety office in response to the deadly Noyes Street Fire
that killed six people.

According to records, most of the violations at the five-unit building on Woodford St. are now
fixed, but the city says it took years to get some of them corrected and now the landlord is
ordered to pay a daily fine for each violation adding up to more than $500,000.

“The building has been in bad condition for a long time. There’s been issues with wiring,
plumbing, smoke detectors missing,” said Pine Tree Legal attorney Katie McGovern, who
represents one of the building’s tenants.

According to court records, city inspectors found multiple violations during several visits
starting back more than two years ago, including obstructed exits, inadequate fire doors, bed
bugs, no working smoke alarms and leaking pipes.

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