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Electrical fire at 250 Frederick Street adds to recent problems for residents


A small fire at 250 Frederick Street in Kitchener over the weekend is adding to the long list of issues residents have had to deal with lately.

In the past few months, residents have seen three separate waves of eviction notices, an ongoing parking dispute with building management, and complaints about maintenance.

Then on Saturday, Kitchener Fire said there was an electrical fire but no one was hurt.

Resident Heather Berry lives on the 17th floor, where the fire started.

“I woke up at 11:30 p.m. to the screeching fire alarms going off,” Berry told CTV News. “You could see smoke coming out from the opposite end of the hallway. So I immediately packed up my cats into the carrier just in case in case it was real.”

When she found out it was real, she was horrified.

“It was terrifying because we weren't sure what the flame situation was like. We knew it was very smoky,” she said.

Berry said she and her neighbours, many elderly, spent the next few hours outside before being allowed back in.

Fire crews inside the building at 250 Fredrick Street. (Submitted/Robert Elder)

The problems for the residents of 250 Frederick Street started in the fall of 2023, when new owners purchased the building.

“The ten years I've been here, there's been no issues until the last seven months. It's been one issue after another repair and cleaning, not getting done, getting the grass mowed on time. Everything has been a struggle over the last seven months,” Berry said.

Since February there have been three separate waves of eviction notices, while the exact number of eviction notices is not known, house advocates working with residents of 250 Frederick believe the number is greater than 50.

Heather Berry got her notice on the Friday before the long weekend.

“I was kind of at the point where it's a matter of when, not if, I'm going to get mine (evection notice) because they have no intention of playing nice,” said Berry.

While some people have moved out, Berry said the majority are willing to fight for their home.

“We're going to fight it. We have Zoom meetings. We have we've made some really fun friendships because of this. We talk in the laundry room. We talk in the elevator. We're all on the same page,” Berry said.

Building Permits issued

According to the City of Kitchener, since October of last year building management has applied for three building permits, but only one has been accepted.

The first two permits were cancelled because the proposed work did not require a building permit.

The first application was for alterations of a non-load-bearing-wall in the kitchen, a job that does not require a building permit.

250 Frederick St. in Kitchener, Ont. (Jeff Pickel/CTV Kitchener)

In the second application, owners requested permit to replace plumbing stacks, including dishwasher installation for 84 apartment units. Once again this does not require a building permit.

On a third application, owners requested a building permit to replace the plumbing stacks on floors three to 15. This permit has been granted.

An N13 evection notice delivered to one of the tenants says the reason for ending the tenancy is “to do repairs or renovations so extensive that I am required to get a building permit and the rental unit must be vacant for that work.”

We reached out to representatives of 250 Frederick Street but did not receive a reply. Top Stories

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