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No injuries, $100K damage pegged in suspicious King Street highrise blaze: police

London Fire Department via Twitter

A fire in a fifth-floor unit of a downtown highrise Tuesday afternoon has been deemed suspicious by London police who say they are now investigating the blaze with the assistance of the London Fire Department and the province’s fire marshal.

Fire crews responded to the scene at 186 King St., a multi-floor residential building between Clarence and Richmond streets, around 2:22 p.m. for a monitor alarm.

“Smoke was showing upon arrival of the units when they turned onto King Street. There was six units that were dispatched to that particular call,” Platoon Chief Dave Hood said.

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Hood said the fire was contained to an apartment unit on the fifth floor of the building, causing an estimated $100,000 in damage.

“With significant amount of damage, once it’s over $100,000, we have our fire inspectors attend, so fire inspection is on scene currently and trying to determine the cause,” he said around 5:30 p.m.

“(It’s) undetermined who was actually occupying the unit. Obviously, there was someone there, so there will be one person that’s been displaced, at minimum.”

In an update Wednesday, police announced that the fire had been determined suspicious in nature.

Read more: Dec. 26, 2021: London, Ont. fire crews rescue 1 person from King Street apartment fire

Hood says firefighters were lucky that the building’s fire detection system caught the blaze early.

“Because the doors on highrises have self closures on them, the fire was confined to the unit. Where we run into real trouble is when those closures have been either removed, tampered with, or people have propped the door open,” he said.

“Since that was intact, the fire and the smoke didn’t travel too far beyond the unit of origin.”

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