Balconies deemed ‘unsafe’ at London, Ont. high-rise where toddler fatally fell

The apartment building located at Lyle and King streets, where a young child reportedly fell off a balcony and died Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. Google Maps

Days after a little girl fell from a balcony and died, residents of 400 Lyle St. in London, Ont., have been asked to stop using their balconies after officials deemed them “unsafe.”

Saturday afternoon, London police said a child suffered life-threatening injuries after falling from a balcony. She was later pronounced dead in hospital.

A GoFundMe for Inayah, who was just shy of two years old, describes the little girl as “an angel loved by everyone.”

Read more: Fundraiser launched for family of London, Ont. toddler who died after falling from balcony

A spokesperson with the City of London told Global News that city building officials inspected the building at the request of the London Police Service.

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“The inspection identified balcony guardrails with openings greater than 100 millimetres. As a result, an ‘Unsafe Building — Order to Make Safe’ has been issued,” Andrew Sercombe said.

“As part of the order, residents at this address are being asked not to use their balconies until the building owner can confirm that appropriate steps have been taken to alleviate the unsafe condition.”

Sercombe added that the city understands “this is a difficult time for the residents in this building” and for the loved ones of Inayah.

“Our thoughts are with them.”

Read more: Safety issues raised at Toronto Community Housing building where AC unit fatally struck child (2020)

The building owner, Medallion Corporation, said in a statement that it is working with professionals to determine “the veracity” of the building officials’ findings and to address the issue “if necessary.”

It adds that all building codes were met when the high-rise was built and that “City of London inspectors issued an occupancy permit.”

“In addition, Medallion Corporation has been in contact with the child’s family to facilitate a change of accommodation,” the statement ends.

Read more: Chatham, Ont. man dies after falling from TV antenna in industrial accident

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At Tuesday’s council meeting, Ward 4 Coun. Jesse Helmer addressed the tragic loss in Old East Village.

“I want to say to the family that your community is mourning with you. Your child (was) taken far too soon,” Helmer said.

“I want to say to the first responders, the paramedics who tried to save the child’s life, the police who responded and are now investigating, along with the coroner, the circumstances of the death: thank you so much for your service. It’s difficult work that you do and never more difficult than in a situation like this.”

The London Police Service investigation into the death is ongoing.

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