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Support grows for Vaudreuil senior facing eviction

WATCH ABOVE: Peder Mortensen, 81, is facing eviction after living on his land for 60 years. Even though many acknowledge the city is within its rights, support for the Vaudreuil senior continues to grow. As Gloria Henriquez reports, at this point some say it is a matter of heart over law.

VAUDREUIL-DORION – A Vaudreuil senior facing eviction is continuing to gather support from the community.

The 81-year-old has been living in his home – built from scratch – for about 60 years.

Now, the mayor says his home is a fire hazard.

Friends, neighbours, and community members are increasing pressure on the mayor to allow him to stay put.

And though many acknowledge the city is within its rights, some say, at this point, it’s a matter of heart over law.

WATCH BELOW: Vaudreuil-Dorion mayor Guy Pilon tells Global News why the city needs to take action and remove 81-year-old Peder Mortensen from his home.

EXTENDED INTERVIEW: Vaudreuil-Dorion mayor on Peder Mortensen
EXTENDED INTERVIEW: Vaudreuil-Dorion mayor on Peder Mortensen

Peder Mortensen is a sort of quiet celebrity in his community.

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Not a lot of people had talked to him before, but they sure knew him and his hand-built yellow bike.

Mortensen is a unique man and his home follows suit.

The retired structural engineer has hand-made most of the necessities in his home, including the window’s insulation panels, which are covered in tin foil and the heating inside his home, made out of an old stove burner.

But what some may see as ingenuity, the city says could represent a fire hazard and want Mortensen to either tear his home down or bring it up to code.

READ MORE:  Vaudreuil resident heartbroken over city’s plan to demolish his home

Global News reached out to Vaudreuil City Hall for an interview.

It was declined.

Global News’ request to obtain a copy of the inspection done on Mr. Mortensen’s home was also declined because it contained personal information.

“I’m sure the town and town council are well-intentioned  but this is an unusual case, it probably needs an unusual solution” said Rodney Birrell, who came from Hudson to offer Mortensen help.

Mortensen’s supporters hope that solution includes a little more heart.

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“When you’re applying order without compassion for the person involved, I think it’s another issue,” Birrell added. “I think that’s what people are reacting to.”

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Scott Pope, who lives a couple of streets away from Mortensen, is one of those people. He says he is ready to do, as many say, whatever it takes to keep Mortensen home, where he belongs.

“I think it needs to be done with dignity, and in the best interest of Peder,” Pope said.

The mayor will speak again on Tuesday after social services and Mortensen meet to discuss his options.

“I don’t want to go to spend the rest of my life going to court,” Mortensen said.