By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
A disturbance earlier on Sunday may have contributed to a blaze being labeled suspicious at a south Oshawa apartment.
Just after 7 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30, Oshawa Fire Services were called to an apartment fire at 780 Simcoe St. S. When they arrived, flames were blazing out the ground-level window of the basement apartment.
In total, six fire trucks and approximately 20 fire fighters responded to the blaze at the 16-unit building. The heavy response forced the closure of Simcoe Street for nearly two hours.
The occupants of the apartment unit were not home at the time of the fire, and according to Derrick Clark, Oshawa’s deputy fire chief, there were no injuries reported and the blaze was kept contained.
“The good thing about that is that some doors were left shut and that really saved the spread of the fire,” Clark says.
Originally, Clark says the fire was deemed suspicious and Oshawa Fire Services called in the Ontario Fire Marshall to investigate. Members of the investigative team were on the scene until nearly 5 p.m. However, in the end, nothing was found.
“They couldn’t determine that anything suspicious had ascertained at that address, so the fire will probably go down as undetermined at our end,” Clark says.
According to Durham police, a call earlier that evening may have contributed to the fire being labelled suspicious, although the incidents were unrelated.
“We’re looking into something that is unrelated to the actual fire,” says Sgt. Bill Calder, a spokesperson for Durham police.
“We’re looking at something totally independent of that and I can’t really comment on it because it might be domestic related.”
The fire is the latest in 2016, which has been a busy year for Oshawa’s firefighters. In the first four months of the year, Oshawa fire services battled more than 40 structure fires, which resulted in more than $3 million in damage. For context, all of 2015 saw approximate $3.5 million in damages from fires.