A massive fire in Kingston’s west end on Christmas Day evening has left a vacant two-storey house gutted.
The fire is now being investigated as suspicious.
Heavy smoke could be seen rising into the night sky just after 5 p.m.
“There is extensive fire damage and smoke damage throughout the building,” says Ted Posadowski, chief fire prevention officer with Kingston Fire and Rescue, adding that there was “approximately $300,000 damage to the property.”
A total of seven fire vehicles attended the scene at 809 Development Dr., including an aerial truck.
According to residents in the west-end neighbourhood, the house has been vacant for some time.
“There were no injuries to anybody or to firefighters,” Posadowski says.
“Kingston police were notified, as well as the fire marshal’s office.”
With Kingston police now protecting the scene, Posadowski says the fire appears to be suspicious.
“Due to the building being vacant, no services — there was no hydro — it is considered suspicious at this time,” says Posadowski. “We are going through a process of elimination right now and trying to determine the origin and the cause of the fire.”
Terri Armstrong, a resident in the area, says the house “has been empty for a year or two.”
Armstrong, who has lived in the area since 1978, says the gutted house and the land is the last of a large farm, owned at the time by the Trudel family.
According to a sign on the front lawn of the house, posted by the City of Kingston, the property is in the process of being re-zoned for the construction of a three-storey townhome and an apartment building.
The fire marshall will attend the scene in the coming days and the investigation continues into what fire officials say was a very hot and intense fire.