Abandoned building catches fire on Princess Street

Click to play video 'Kingston fire officials looking into fire at vacant building' Kingston fire officials looking into fire at vacant building
Police and fire investigators are looking into the cause of a fire in midtown on Princess Street.

Investigators are looking into a fire at an abandoned building on Princess Street that happened overnight between Wednesday and Thursday.

As of Thursday evening, fire inspectors still don’t know what caused the blaze, although some items found inside may point to squatters.

“We are still looking into what may have caused the fire,” said Clinton Debroy of Kingston Fire and Rescue.

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The fire was fully involved in the west side of the building by the time firefighters arrived around 11 p.m. Wednesday.

“We did have flames visible through both windows, which is evidence that the windows themselves failed. We’re just looking at how the windows failed,” Debroy said.

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It’s also unclear where the fire started.

The two-storey brick building once housed businesses, a tattoo parlour, a payday loan store and gym.

Members of the Outlaws motorcycle gang once occupied space in the basement as well. There were also several apartment units in the back.

The building has been vacant for the past two months. Debroy said there were a lot of combustible materials around the abandoned building, and that made the fire a challenge to put out.

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Although they could not definitely say what caused the fire, firefighters say a number of items found inside could be from squatters.

“There’s always a possibility to have potential people to come in and do multiple things. They would be here illegally if that was the case,” Debroy said.

No one was injured, but witnesses tell Global News, at least three people were seen fleeing the burning building.

Investigators couldn’t put a dollar value on the damage.

Kingston Police are also assisting with the investigation, which is ongoing. Officials have not yet deemed the fire suspicious.