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Weekend fires cause millions in damage

Two early-morning fires on June 9 caused approximately $6 million in damage. The Ontario Fire Marshal has been called into investigate the first on Bloor Street West (photo by Colin Williamson)

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Two early-morning fires in Oshawa’s south end caused millions of dollars in property damage over the weekend.

The first fire, which was on Bloor Street West, destroyed a building which was under  construction.

The second fire was not far from the first, at Cromwell and College avenues.

According to Oshawa Fire Chief Derrick Clark, the second building is still standing, but did sustain significant damage.

“We’re investigating both scenes, and the best way to explain it is we’re investigating them independently so we can determine what the circumstances, cause and origin are surrounding both of them,” Clark told The Oshawa Express.

However, he notes they are especially looking into the Bloor Street fire as they have deemed it suspicious at this time.

He says along with the Ontario Fire Marshal and Durham Regional Police Services, the city’s fire prevention and investigation division is investigating the first fire.

“We’re looking at the other fire on College Avenue separately just so we don’t come to any circumstances that aren’t relevant, and we want to look at each case independently, so we can determine maybe what happened there,” he explains.

He says the second fire began in a building adjacent to the main property, and it quickly spread to the main building.

Clark notes there was a substantial fire load in that area, which contributed to the fire spreading.

He has yet to see a report from the fire department’s building inspectors, so Clark is unsure of whether or not the building has been deemed unsafe.

Clark says the only injury he heard of was when one resident during the first fire leaned against a door and received some minor burns to his arm.

He was told by fire fighters at the scene the heat conditions were some of the worst they had seen in their careers.

Clark says with the help of police, residents were evacuated from apartment buildings near the fires.

The damage was extensive, as Clark says early estimates indicate the fires resulted in a total of $6 million in property damages to both buildings combined.