Good Friday Fire on Douglas Street

Friday, April 6, 2007

The downtown core was mobbed with emergency vehicles the second weekend in a row on Friday as Guelph Fire responded to a blaze on Douglas Street early Friday morning.

Shortly before 2 am, all five local fire stations were called to a fire at 69 Wyndham Street North and the Gummer Building along Douglas Street. A total of 60 firefighters were on scene battling the fire which continued to flare up hours after the efforts firefighters began. Estimated damage to the property, which includes local businesses Goldfinger, Venus Smiled, Twisted Asylum and the law offices of Vorvis, Anderson, Gray, Armstrong, is well over $1 million.

Adjoining buildings like the CIBC are believed to have suffered severe water damage. "Our people were able to protect some of the architectural features," said Guelph Fire Chief Shawn Armstrong. “I think they did a phenomenal job under the circumstances."

According to witnesses, the fire began in an apartment above Goldfinger and Twisted Asylum and then spread quickly to the Gummer Building thanks to prevailing winds. Armstrong called the fire suspicious and the Fire Marshall was on site Friday to investigate. On the bright side though, there were no injuries and no loss of life; all the apartment occupants were evacuated to safety.

Last Friday, Guelph Fire responded to a blaze on the third floor of the Diplomat Hotel. A 64-year-old Guelph man was arrested for arson and mischief in relation to this incident.

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