Third abandoned home in Orillia hit by suspicious fire
There has been another suspicious fire in another abandoned house slated for demolition in Orillia.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but people who live nearby are concerned another abandoned property went up in flames.
Fire ripped through the house on Front Street around 4 a.m. today. Within minutes flames quickly spread throughout the house and the roof collapsed. This is the third abandoned house to go up in flames on this block since November and neighbours are feeling uneasy.
“This is getting too close to home,” says Glenn Brooks.
The house is one of 27 abandoned properties in Orillia the city has been monitoring and taking action to have demolished. An unsafe order was issued in the fall and the owner had planned to tear the house down tomorrow. The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office is now investigating. At this point investigators don't know what sparked the fire, and are considering it suspicious.
“All we know these houses have been an abandoned for four or five years. All the utilities have been shut off so it's either accidental or intentionally set,” says Fire Chief Ralph Dominelli.
Orillia's fire chief says the property owner is co-operating with the investigation.
The department is still investigating the other two abandoned properties that were destroyed by fire in the past two months. Both those fire are considered suspicious too.
“We haven’t found that people have been entering these homes. They have been secured,” Dominelli says.
OPP are also investigating and relying on surveillance cameras from nearby intersections for any evidence.
“The investigation will look at using those cameras if somebody was in the area prior to the fire starting,” says Orillia OPP Const. Jim Edwards.
The house has been demolished now and the fire department is continuing to work with the OPP. But neighbours worry another abandoned property could go up in flames and spread to their homes.
“We're constantly worrying so we've put in extra fire alarms,” Brooks says.