NORWAY, Maine — A building owner in Norway cited for unsafe conditions in his apartment building has a month to evict his tenants, a judge said Friday.
On Friday, Patrick McInnis, 70, of 168 Main St., said he was done contesting the town’s filing to evict his tenants. The building was found to be unsafe by Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman, who found major electrical deficiencies, including smoke detectors hardwired together, switches not grounded, some wires seared and materials in the basement that prevented easy access to problem electrical boxes.
Justice Robert W. Clifford requested a second inspection of the building. Fire Chief Dennis Yates had helped and said he crawled in places Corey-Whitman couldn’t access and found even more electrical violations.
The town’s attorney, Ted Small, named other problems, including inadequate heating, oxygen and acetylene stored in an unsafe way, insufficient fire barriers and problems with plumbing fixtures.
“From the town’s perspective, it’s a public safety issue,” Small said.
McInnis said one of his tenants would be able to find a new place, but another tenant, a friend who was present in court Friday, suffered from physical ailments, didn’t have much money and was worried about his ability to find a new home.
While the man could live in a spare room in McInnis’ unit without paying rent, he said McInnis’ smoking would make it impossible for him to live there.
Clifford said he would wait until the next civil court day, Jan. 14, before enacting an eviction of the building so that McInnis’ tenant would have time to find a new home. For now, McInnis can remain in the building but can’t rent out units.