Heavy fines have been issued to a summer camp in Gravenhurst after multiple failed fire inspections.

Yesterday Societa Unita, the organization that runs Camp Teopoli on Housey’s Rapids Road, pleaded guilty in Provincial Offences Court to three counts of failing to comply to an inspection order. The court issued $27,000 in fines.

The camp has not been in operation since 2014 and is not planning to host campers this summer either, according to Father Claudio Piccinini.

Fire Chief Larry Brassard says he doesn’t want to issue fines, but orders cannot be ignored.

We’d prefer that these issues are properly addressed by property owners without the need to go to court, but sometimes this seems to be the only way to prompt the action that is necessary,” says Brassard. “Keeping our community safe is an imperative for those of us with enforcement as part of our mandate.”

Starting in July of last year inspections were being carried out at the faith-based camp for young people. The Town’s Building and Fire Departments received a complaint from the Electrical Safety Authority saying there might be building and fire code violations.

“As a result, both Departments worked closely together over the span of several months to inspect a number of buildings on the property, and ultimately the fire department issued a series of inspection orders to address violations of the Ontario Fire Code that were unearthed,” recounts Brassard.

The operators were given several months to act on the orders issued, but upon reinspection, there were still some items not in proper order.

“Our inspector made repeated follow up inquiries and noted that the operators of the camp had indeed completed and corrected several of the deficiencies that had been noted, while others had not been addressed at all,” said the Chief.

Brassard believes the size of the fines shows how seriously the courts have taken Fire Code enforcement in recent years.