June 10, 2019 7:39 pm

Millions in damages after fires break out in Oshawa

A joint investigation is underway after two fires ignited nearby one-another in Oshawa. Brittany Rosen reports.

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A joint investigation is underway after two fires ignited nearby one another in Oshawa.

The first fire occurred when a building under construction on Bloor Street burst into flames Sunday around 2:30 a.m, Oshawa Fire said.

Approximately one hour later, the back of a house burst into flames nearby on College Avenue, according to Oshawa Fire.

Oshawa fire Chief Derrick Clark said the power of the first fire was very rare.

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“(It was a) very, very difficult fire to contend with. Very, very high heat. Very, very dynamic firefighting tactics for our crews to have to deal with,” Clark said.

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Eight fire trucks — essentially all of the city’s resources — were called in to fight the flames.

As a result of the two fires, Clark said there is about $6 million worth of damages.

The aftermath of the first fire included pieces of charred debris and cars burned inside and out, while neighbouring apartment buildings and homes across the street also suffered damage.

One neighbour, Ramona Neaves, said that as she was evacuating her home, she was scared she wouldn’t be able to find her 80-year-old father, who lives in the building.

“I didn’t even have time to shake my head and wake up. I’m trying to find clothes and my dog and my dad and his dog,” she said.

Clyde Reid said he witnessed flames shooting “100 feet into the air.”

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Reid added: “The heat was intense, I could feel it through my bedroom window.”

Oshawa fire is working with the Ontario Fire Marshal and Durham police to determine if both fires are connected.

“Was it deliberately set, was it accidental, or was it debris travelling in that area,” Clark said when talking about what crews will be looking at during the investigation.

He said the city’s fire department will have more information in the coming days.

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