Saskatoon apartment building residents back home after going without heat during deep freeze

The Saskatoon Fire Department says it was called to 814 Appleby Street, on Jan. 4 when the building's temperature was 17 C. (Miriam Valdes-Carletti/CTV Saskatoon)

45 Saskatoon residents are back in their apartment building after they were displaced due to an insufficient boiler.

The Saskatoon Fire Department (SFD) says it was called to the building, at 814 Appleby Street, on Jan. 4 when the building's temperature was 17 C.

SFD says the temperature should be at least 22 C when it's -35 outside.

“The boiler was functioning but it wasn’t able to get to that optimal heat,” said Yvonne Raymer, assistant chief with SFD.

Mainstreet Equity Corp., the company that owns the building, says in an email to CTV News that residents were given multiple space heaters and the option of an immediate transfer.

SFD heard from residents that the building was getting even colder. When inspectors returned to the building, it was found that a back door was left wide open that “completely froze the stairwell” which also ended up freezing pipes.

Raymer says an immediate closure was issued and Mainstreet made hotel arrangements for all residents.

Mainstreet says it will be providing rent abatement for the days when residents state they were without heat and will pay for any excess electrical charges resulting from the space heaters.

“On Sunday, our vice-president of operations personally contacted each resident to update them, and again on Monday to inform them that we had completed repair work and the building was properly heating again,” the company said in the statement.

Raymer says the fire department read each suite and the temperatures were reported between 22 and 30 C.