Fourth Street fire leaves investigators ‘completely stumped’

Neighbours watch as a fire runs up the inside of a wall of a duplex on Fourth Street West in Cornwall, Ont. on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The fire has left investigators at a loss to explain how it started. The fire will officially be deemed undetermined. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Fire Chief Pierre Voisine says they are ‘completely stumped’ following an investigation into a wall fire in a Fourth Street duplex last week.

The case is closed on the fire that started around 9 p.m. Tuesday in the building, a couple of blocks west of Cumberland.

“That one is definitely undetermined…we can’t figure it out,” a puzzled Voisine told Cornwall Newswatch Monday.

“This is one of the fires that we rarely get where we can’t even come up with hypotheses on why that fire occurred,” the chief said.

The fire started about 10 feet (3 meters) off the ground on an outside wall of a building with tin siding.

“Not a point of access that’s easy for somebody who wants to set a fire. Somebody would have to be standing on a ladder or something…at 9 o’clock at night. If somebody is standing on a ladder, trying to light a building on fire, somebody’s going to see it at that time,” Voisine said in ruling out arson.

“And then when we open the wall from the inside, there’s no electrical. There’s nothing in that wall,” Voisine said.

“We’re stumped….we’re completely stumped on that one.”

The property has since been turned over to the insurance company and the landlord.

There were no injuries in the fire, however, two families were temporarily displaced.