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Another fire in an abandoned house has been deemed suspicious 0

By Gisele Winton Sarvis, Special to QMI Agency

Orillia Fire Department responded to a fire at 16 Front St. S. Friday at 2:30 a.m. The house was abandoned and slated for demolition, but the cause of the fire is suspicious.
GISELE WINTON SARVIS - THE PACKET & TIMES

Orillia Fire Department responded to a fire at 16 Front St. S. Friday at 2:30 a.m. The house was abandoned and slated for demolition, but the cause of the fire is suspicious. GISELE WINTON SARVIS - THE PACKET & TIMES

ORILLIA - 

Friday the 13th started with a fire at an abandoned house at 16 Front St. S.

The Orillia Fire Department received a 911 call at 2:30 a.m. and responded to the call along with the aerial platform truck from the Rama Fire Department and put out the fire.

Firefighters and Orillia OPP remained on the scene Friday to investigate. The Office of the Fire Marshal is also investigating.

“At this time, we are dealing with it as a suspicious fire. We are working with the OPP to find out how the fire started. We know the fire started in the rear of the house,” said Orillia Fire Chief Ralph Dominelli.

Services were not hooked up to the abandoned house, so that eliminates utilities as a cause, leaving accidental or suspicious as possibilities, he said.

An unsafe order was posted on the house by the city’s chief building official, Kelly Smith, earlier this fall and was scheduled for demolition.

“The rest of the house will be coming down because it’s more unsafe than it was,” Dominelli said.

An excavator was on site Friday morning taking apart the rear of the house where the fire started and firefighters were “making sure there (was) nobody inside,” he said.

The house is one of 27 abandoned buildings scattered throughout Orillia the city has taken aggressive action on to get demolished through its abandoned properties project team. To date, seven of them have been demolished, five of which were taken down by the homeowners.

The house is part of the property parcel owned by Schachter Metals that had seven buildings on it — five houses and two other buildings.

Two of the houses on Colborne Street East were demolished in November. There was a fire at 124 Colborne St. E. Nov. 17. It was demolished a couple of days later.

Houses at 22 and 28 Front St. S. have unsafe orders posted on them.

gisele.wintonsarvis@sunmedia.ca

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