Calgary's Shamrock Hotel charged with fire violations

The owner of the Shamrock Hotel in Calgary is facing several charges after a group of people had to be rescued when the building caught fire Aug. 28.

A total of 11 people were forced to leave the hotel and three people were transported to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, according to the Calgary Fire Department.

Fire crews were also forced to break hotel windows to get five guests out of the second floor with a ladder after they were spotted banging on windows and calling for help.

One person had told CBC News that he had to be rescued because the fire exit was chained.

Shamrock Hotel spokesperson Darcy Clendenning said in August that the locked fire escape was decommissioned as a fire escape five years ago when the restaurant on the second floor of the hotel was closed.

He said it was always the fire exit for the restaurant and never for hotel room patrons.

Clendenning claimed at the time that all other fire exits were clear and up to code, and the Shamrock had recently passed a fire inspection.

But as a result of the fire, which is still being investigated by the Calgary police arson unit, the fire department completed an inspection and found several violations of the Alberta Fire Code.

Owner Louisa K. Ho is now facing six charges all together: four charges for fire separation doors in the stairwells not being closed; one charge for failing to maintain the fire separation doors; and one charge for failing to ensure the means of egress, including the fire escape, is maintained in good repair and free of obstructions.

Ho is expected to appear in court on Nov. 21.

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