Fire officials say the cause of a Saturday fire on Kimberly Avenue in Timmins is suspicious and the matter has been turned over to police.
Pictures and videos of the fire were posted to social media Saturday evening, where commentators said the building was unoccupied.
Timmins Fire Chief Berny Stansa said 15 firefighters took about four hours to put it out.
“They did a 360, the incident commander did, and in the back door, he noticed it was pried open — the plywood was taken off,” Stansa said.
“So, the back door was compromised, that’s how our crews made entry. “Couldn’t find anyone in the building and in short order the flames got over their heads and into the attic and through the roof.”
“At that point, the incident commander or the officer on-scene made the decision to — for the firefighters’ safety — to pull them out and do a defensive attack,” he added.
Fire officials say the cause of a Saturday fire on Kimberly Avenue in Timmins is suspicious and the matter has been turned over to police. (Supplied)
Located just steps away from an emergency shelter, the chief says people tried to tamper with the crew’s truck.
“There are two separate incidents where people were trying to get into the fire truck, to steal something,” he said.
“Timmins police were notified and came on scene for that.”
Police said there’s no evidence of a trend in these sorts of fires, although they are investigating two other cases of arson in the city.
WAITING FOR REPORT ON THE CAUSE
They are currently waiting for a report from the fire department on exactly how the fire started.
“We are depending on those findings to determine what investigative steps we take next,” said police spokesperson Marc Depatie.
“However, until such time as the exact origin is determined, we deem that all fires of this nature are suspicious.”
Stansa said previous fires in abandoned properties have been sparked by trespassers.
“It looks like people are trying to stay warm and they’re getting into these buildings, and the access is fairly easy,” he said.
People with knowledge of the area told CTV News this building is the subject of regular break-ins and drug activity.