CALGARY — Two Calgary landlords have pleaded guilty to several safety and health violations in a basement suite fire that killed three people.
Akif Amin, 39, who was not in court, admitted through his lawyer that the suite’s windows were too small and had security bars on them that could not be removed from the inside.
He also admitted that the smoke alarm in the suite didn’t have batteries in it.
Amin was ordered to pay a $75,000 fine.
His mother, Bushra, was fined $500 after pleading guilty to one health-related offence.
The pair was charged after a Jan. 26 fire that killed Colleen Mantei, 23, Tiffany Cox, 19, and Johnathan St. Pierre, 19.
A fourth person inside the basement suite, Tammy Adacsi, 34, was injured, but survived.
Mitzi Halliday, Cox’s mother, said she was angry the landlords weren’t willing to show up in court to face the victims’ families.
“We’ve lost our kids and we have to live the rest of our lives with that,” Halliday said outside court.
Lawyer Zul Verjee entered guilty pleas on behalf of the Amins to charges under the provincial Public Health Act and the Safety Codes Act.
Mantei’s mom, Joan, said she hopes the hefty fines will serve as a warning to other landlords.
“This can never happen to another family, this has to stop, it has to end,” she said.
And she, too, was angry the Amins, who weren’t obliged to appear, didn’t come to court.
“They stole the most precious thing in your life and never acknowledge you,” she said.