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Cause of blaze remains unknown

Investigation ongoing into Whitby townhouse fire

Crews from Whitby, Oshawa and Ajax battled a large fire at a construction site near the Rossland Road and Brock Road area on Aug. 24. Fourteen uncompleted townhouses were destroyed. The Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal was continuing to investigate the cause of the blaze as of press time. (Photo by Dave Flaherty).

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

The Office of the Ontario Marshal has been called in to investigate the possible cause of a large fire at a construction site in Whitby.

Whitby Fire Chief Dave Speed says 14 unfinished townhouses at Kenneth Hobbs Street and Civic Centre Drive, just north of Rossland Road, were destroyed in the blaze, which started around 6 p.m. on Aug. 24.

The entire fleet from Whitby Fire Services was deployed to the scene. Fire crews from Ajax and Oshawa provided assistance, Speed says.

Two firefighters were treated for minor injuries in relation to the fire.

Speed says luckily the fire did not spread to surrounding townhouses and Durham Regional Police evacuated some local residents as a safety precaution.

“The heat was very intense and started to melt the siding on some nearby houses,” he said.

Crews had the fire under control around 7:30 p.m. but remained on scene for several hours, drawing a large crowd of onlookers.

Speed didn’t have a damage estimate as of press time, noting it won’t likely be known until the Fire Marshal’s investigation is complete.

He says the fire serves as a reminder for residents of the importance of working fire alarms and an escape plan in the case of fire.