Warehouse fire a criminal investigation

Cornwall firefighters arrive on scene at this fire at an abandoned warehouse on Tenth Street East. It took nearly two hours to put out the flames. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – A fire at an abandoned warehouse in the city’s east end has been turned over to Cornwall police as a criminal investigation.

Cornwall firefighters were called just after 10 p.m. to a property in the 800 block of Tenth Street East, just east of Emard Brothers Lumber.

A giant shower of sparks fill the night sky during this warehouse fire on Tenth Street East on March 15, 2015. City police are investigating. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)
A giant shower of sparks fill the night sky during this warehouse fire on Tenth Street East on March 15, 2015. City police are investigating. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

When firefighters got to the location, known to locals as the former Shell Canada property, one of the two buildings was engulfed in flames.

“It had a good head start on us,” Cornwall Fire Department Platoon Chief Pierre Baril tells Cornwall Newswatch.

There were eight men and three fire trucks on the scene and resources were stretched as another firefighting crew was dealing with a grease fire on a stove at a Riverdale home at the same time.

A section of security fence had to be cut down to allow firefighters to get into the property.

While firefighters tore down and cut through boarded-up windows and doors with chainsaws, as many as five Cornwall police officers were searching tracks in the snow to the larger outbuilding on the property.

Then they conducted a grid search of the entire scene before marking off evidence with two orange road cones about 20 feet (6 meters) from the burnt-out building.

Police investigators came just before midnight to photograph the evidence.

There were no reported injuries associated with the fire.

A portion of Tenth Street East, east of McConnell Avenue, has been closed to traffic and is expected to be closed to traffic overnight and possibly Monday morning as police hold the scene.

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