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Cambridge’s new House of Friendship building damaged in overnight fire

Damage could be seen on the back of the House of Friendship facility in Cambridge on Wednesday morning.
Damage could be seen on the back of the House of Friendship facility in Cambridge on Wednesday morning. Ahmad Fareed Khan / Global News

The Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office has been called in to investigate an overnight fire at the House of Friendship’s new building in Cambridge.

“We have our fire prevention on scene investigating,” Cambridge Fire Department platoon Chief Dave Mawdsley told Global News. “One of our crews is there just putting out a few hotspots.

“They are maintaining the scene integrity until the fire marshal comes to assist in investigating.”

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Waterloo Regional Police say the call came in for the fire on Concession Road at around 3:20 a.m. Wednesday.

They said they were at the scene to evacuate neighbouring houses and to assist with traffic.

The building, which was formerly owned by the Women’s Crisis Service, was set to be completed in June and officially open the following month, according to a report presented to the Region of Waterloo on Tuesday.

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The construction, which began in September of last year, was to add a second floor to the facility.

The region’s budget committee approved a $150,000 grant to the House of Friendship on Tuesday to help with the cost.

The House of Friendship released a statement which said they were “devastated” by news of the fire.

“This is difficult news to wake up to, particularly during a time when addiction treatment is desperately needed for so many individuals and families in Waterloo Region,”  House of Friendship Executive Director John Neufeld said in the release.

“We have many reasons to remain hopeful.  This community has been incredibly supportive and we know it’s one that comes together in times of adversity.  This time will be no different.  With this support, we will move forward with our vision of an addiction treatment centre that will provide hope and healing for individuals and families impacted by addiction.”

The Cambridge Fire Department did not provide a cause of the fire or a damage estimate.

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