Ombudsman Says Poor Communication to Blame in Slow City Response to Fire
A 95-page report from Toronto's Ombudsman suggests that poor communication and misinformation about bedbugs were two of the chief reasons for delays in placing residents from 200 Wellesley into emergency housing.
Fiona Crean released the report on the city's response after a fire at the apartment building forced the evacuation of 1700 residents on September 24th, 2010.
Crean says an e-mail went out from Public Health to emergency officials on scene warning of bed bugs among the residents. Rumours swirled among the residents as well that they would have to re-bathe, change clothes and leave all of their belongings behind.
Hours later, the Ombudsman found that indications that bedbudgs had been found at the reception centre were erroneous.
Through the report, the Ombudsman made 15 recommendations - mostly surrounding poor communication during the evacuation.
City manager Joe Penachetti says he agrees with all 15 recommendations, which he says supports their own findings.