Over 50 people living in a hostel and apartment complex in Miramichi, N.B., have been left with nowhere to go, after the provincial fire marshal’s office deemed the building unsafe.

Tenants were told on Wednesday at 11 a.m. that they had four hours to move out of the building as it wasn’t up to code.


Brian Grossseth, the landlord of the 25,000-square-foot building on Cole Crescent, says there are loose wires in the hallways due to ongoing renovations.

“They said, ‘This is totally unacceptable, you can’t do this,’” said Grossseth, “but I’m not sure how you can do renovations in the place without taking something off and putting something else back on.”

The building has 19 apartments and 23 studio rooms. Grossseth says the loose wires and open ceiling are the result of an ongoing effort to feed them into new breaker panels.

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Steve MacDonald, who only recently moved into the building, says he was shocked when he was told to be packed up and out of the building by 3 p.m.

With no family in the area, MacDonald is trying to figure out his next step.

“To only give us four hours, and literally without any options, it’s ridiculous,” MacDonald said. “Almost everybody in this building is on fixed income. Most of the people are suffering from some kind of mental health issue, physical issues, some addiction.

“The bottom line is that in Miramichi, there is nowhere to turn. There’s nothing here.”

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The Canadian Red Cross says they have sent volunteers from Bathurst to help provide building residents with emergency lodging. They’re looking to set up a temporary shelter in the local arena for those affected.

“We’re really just there on scene right now to meet with people. They can register with the Red Cross, then with our volunteers we’ll be doing a case-by-case basis of who needs help,” says Allie Murchison, a spokesperson for the Red Cross.

Murchison says even though this isn’t considered a disaster, the Red Cross still steps in to help however they can.

“It isn’t a disaster, but people definitely still need help. That’s why we’re bringing people down from Bathurst to help support the volunteers.”

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

Steve MacDonald

But MacDonald’s concern is for what lies ahead for everyone after the emergency relief is used up.

“We won’t even be able to eat,” MacDonald said. “It’s 50-60 people, homeless, given four hours to figure something out.”

Global News has reached out the province’s fire marshal office for comment but has not received a call back.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

‘It’s ridiculous’: Dozens of tenants left homeless after Miramichi building deemed unsafe



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