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Suspicious blaze in London’s south end causes $1M in damage

Fire crews battle a late night blaze in London, Ont. that caused $1 million in damage. London Fire Department

A suspicious blaze at a home in the city’s south end caused about $1 million in damage Thursday night, but fire officials say no one was hurt.

It was just before 11 p.m. when fire crews received multiple 911 calls about on structure fire on Commissioners Road East near Wortley Road.

READ MORE: No injuries reported in northeast London garage fire, officials say

“Crews were met with fire through the roof and out the back of the house,” said Platoon Chief Colin Shewell. “Our crews weren’t able to get into the structure due to it being so compromised by the fire.”

“We were able to do a defensive attack, which means we fought the fire from the outside without putting our firefighters in danger.”

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Shewell said the structure is a single-family home and that no one was inside at the time of the blaze. He added no civilians or firefighters were injured.

“The Ontario Fire Marshal has been contacted due to suspicious circumstances around the fire itself,” said Shewell.

READ MORE: Noxious substance takes over London, Ont. apartment building, police evacuate

The London Free Press reports the home is linked to Operation Hobart, a two-year investigation provincial police shared details of on Thursday, Dec. 19. The operation is said to have targeted an alleged multi-million dollar gambling ring and more than two dozen people were charged.

The London Free Press reports the owner of the home was one of the individuals charged in the investigation and the home is said to have been the subject of a search warrant which police executed on Thursday, Dec. 12.

Fire crews have left the scene, but London police remain at the site as of Friday morning.

Click to play video: 'Footage from the massive fire in Kingston’s Williamsville district' Footage from the massive fire in Kingston’s Williamsville district
Footage from the massive fire in Kingston’s Williamsville district – Dec 17, 2019

– With file from Jess Brady

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