Fire guts McConnell Avenue apartment units

Police detectives speak with Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Weber at the scene of an apartment fire on McConnell Avenue in Cornwall, Ont. on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. (Newswtach Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – A midday fire has destroyed a three unit apartment building in the heart of Cornwall’s Le Village District.

Firefighters, police and paramedics were called to the triplex in the 100 block of McConnell Avenue, just south of Montreal Road, just after 1 p.m.

The fire appeared to have started in the front porch area of the triplex and quickly spread up the front and sides of the building, filling the neighbourhood with clouds of thick, brown smoke.

Kawissa Lalonde lives on the northeast corner and Montreal Road and McConnell Avenue, across from the burnt building, and told Cornwall Newswatch she called 911 when she and her boyfriend started to see smoke and flames.

“It looks like it started from the porch area on the left hand side (south side) and it spread so fast so it’s hard to say what caused it. We only saw one guy around the area but like I said, it happened so fast,” Lalonde said.

“I panicked. I started shaking and of course called 911 right away and started taking pictures to see what I could catch but we were wondering if this was arson or not, just the way it happened,” she said.

Flames jump up from underneath the porch of an apartment building on McConnell Avenue in Cornwall, Ont. on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. The building has been destroyed. (Newswtach Group/Bill Kingston)

The cause of the fire hasn’t been determined and investigators with the Cornwall Police Service were canvassing the area and speaking to witnesses.

All the tenants were able to make it out safely, according to multiple social media posts from family members and friends.

Firefighters were still working on scene at 4 p.m.

Click on a thumbnail below to see more pictures from the scene.

Thumbs Up(54)Thumbs Down(12)