Damage pegged at $500K after historic building fire in downtown London
Fire officials say flames that tore through a historic building in downtown London Monday caused an estimated $500,000 in damage.
“There was a lot of paperwork that was impacted by the fire, and the building — being a heritage building itself — increases the cost to rebuild,” said Jack Burt, the acting deputy fire chief of the London Fire Department.
The origin of the fire at 435 Ridout St., on the corner of Queens Avenue, has been deemed suspicious and Burt says an investigation to determine its cause, origin, and circumstances continues.
Firefighters responded to the call around 4:50 a.m. Monday, and discovered fire burning in the basement and on both floors of the two-storey building. Officials say the damage extends all the way up into the attic too.
Nobody was inside the building at the time, nor were any firefighters hurt while fighting the blaze.
Home to a number of law offices now, 435 Ridout St. is historically significant as the former home of the Bank of Upper Canada until 1865. It’s part of Bankers Row, a nickname for London’s first financial district.
In 1966, 435, 441-447, and 451 Ridout St. were designated as the Ridout Street Complex National Historic Site of Canada.
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