House of Friendship fire in Cambridge now a criminal investigation: police

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

Waterloo Regional Police say Wednesday’s fire which caused “extensive damage” to the new House of Friendship addiction treatment centre in Cambridge is under criminal investigation.

Police say they are conducting the investigation in partnership with the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office.

They say the call came in for the fire on Concession Road at around 3:20 a.m.

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

The Cambridge Fire Department has yet to answer inquiries from Global News over the cost or cause of the fire.

On Thursday, the House of Friendship announced that it was moving forward with the facility as planned in spite of the “serious fire” which it says caused “extensive damage” to the building.

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“We are already hearing from community partners, individuals and businesses who want to make contributions to the project in the aftermath of this fire, and we are eternally grateful for that barn-raising attitude that the Waterloo region is known for,” John Neufeld, executive director of House of Friendship, said in the release. “It’s what sets us apart from other communities. We are determined to get this done as soon as possible.”

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.

READ MORE: Waterloo police arrest Kitchener man sought in connection to Cambridge shooting, other crimes

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

The House of Friendship said it was unclear yet whether it would be able to follow that timeline.

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

Police are asking anyone with information to call 519-570-9777 ext. 2263 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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