'It's my home': Saskatoon condo owner 1 of only 12 residents left at Prairie Heights
SASKATOON -- Following a week of fire department inspections and suite closures, only 12 residents remain at the problem-plagued condo tower on 20th Street West.
Of those 12, Sergii Bogdanoff is one of three unit owners still living at Prairie Heights Condominium at 1416 20th St. W., but there’s worry the fire department may close the entire building. The other nine residents at the condo are tenants, according to the Saskatoon Fire Department (SFD).
“I worry about having access to my unit. I have no idea what I can do, I can maybe go across the street and maybe sleep in my car or look for a cardboard box so I can sleep like people do here,” Bogdanoff said.
Assistant Fire Chief Yvonne Raymer said there are no plans to close the entire building at the moment, and the fire department won’t force a full closure unless something happens to the fire protection systems in place at the condo.
“A fire investigator was there today everything looked fine and there’s no reason for us to close it,” Raymer told CTV News.
Last week, the SFD boarded up 16 units following an inspection. The fire department said health and safety concerns caused by sewer backups, cockroach infestations and human and food waste, made the units uninhabitable. On top of the 16 closures, Raymer said the fire department also secured 13 units deemed vacant, but only on paper.
“We didn’t run into anybody during the walkthrough, but they were being used illegitimately after hours or during certain parts of the day,” Raymer said.
Bogdanoff said some planks of plywood were taken off unit entranceways, making way for people to occupy the suites again.
On Sunday, Bogdanoff said he phoned police after seeing a secured unit had been infiltrated.
“I reported a few minutes ago about a door opened on the seventh floor, somebody moved the screws out,” he said.
Fearing he will be forced out of his unit, Bogdanoff said he’s thankful for the work the fire department and police have done to the property, but he’s afraid of losing his home.
“It is my home, my one home. I don't have another space,” he said.
Raymer said if a full tower closure occurs, the fire department will offer re-housing through the Ministry of Social Services.