A Boxing Day fire that gutted an apartment building on Harriston’s main street has been ruled accidental.
Minto Fire Chief Chris Harrow told the Advertiser on Dec. 28 a joint investigation into the blaze was conducted by Minto Fire and the OPP. Police and fire officials report no specific cause was determined, but Harrow said the cause was "accidential" and police officials termed it "non-suspicious."
No one was injured in the blaze, however residents of all three units of the triplex have been displaced.
Wellington County OPP report they received a call to attend a structure fire at a residence on Elora Street North in Harriston on Dec. 26 at about 12:11pm.
Town of Minto firefighters from Harriston, Palmerston and Clifford, along with an aerial truck from North Perth Fire Service, attended and extinguished the fire.
The roads around Harriston’s main intersection at Elora and Arthur Streets remained closed in all directions for several hours while firefighters fought the blaze.
Police reported the building, which sustained extensive fire and water damage, was destroyed. However, Minto fire officials reported on Twitter Saturday that damage was primarily contained to two of the units.
“Damage estimate is still being determined. It will be in excess of $150,000,” Harrow stated on Monday.
Harrow told the Advertiser residents of the upstairs apartment and one of the downstairs units were not home when the fire started, while the third unit occupant was alerted by a passerby and self evacuated.
Firefighters rescued a dog from the upper unit.
“The dog was checked out by the local vet and was okay,” stated Harrow.
A fund has been set up for one of the residents, Paul Raftis, and his daughter, Allison, who lost most of their possessions in the fire. To donate online go to https://www.gofundme.com/ysgmjyb8. Donations may also be made through CIBC Harriston account #6208134 transit #1252.
Anyone with information regarding the fire should contact the Wellington County OPP at 1-888-310-1122.
To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a tip on-line at www.csggw.tips.
Tip providers may be eligible for a reward from Crime Stoppers of up to $2,000.