Police investigating ‘suspicious’ fire

Quick actions of residents helped avoid major loss: deputy fire chief

FERGUS – Residents here lent a hand to prevent a major loss during a Monday evening fire that police are now investigating as “suspicious.”

Centre Wellington firefighters from the Elora and Fergus stations responded to what was initially reported as a structure fire at 30 Davidson Place in Fergus at about 8:30pm on Aug. 1. 

“When we arrived the fire was actually outside of the home at the side of the building and had extended to a part of a wooden fence, a neighbour’s shed and a tree that was at the side of the home,” deputy chief Jonathan Karn told the Advertiser. 

He confirmed the fire did not spread to the house itself due to efforts by neighbours. 

“When we arrived there were several neighbours that used fire extinguishers, a garden hose and really contained that fire prior to our arrival and stopped it from spreading into the house and into some other sheds that were close by and really limited that damage from the fire,” Karn explained. 

“When we arrived we finished with the extinguishment, but it was the neighbours that really were able to stop that fire from spreading.”

He said while the fire didn’t spread to the house, there were some damages to the property which he estimated to be around $15,000.

Karn added there were no injuries, but the fire is currently under investigation by Wellington County OPP due to circumstances observed once the fire was put out. 

“That’s not to say that it was intentionally set, it’s just they’re going to go through their investigation process now because of circumstances that we observed,” he explained. 

In an Aug. 2 press release, Wellington County OPP put out a call for the public’s assistance regarding what police officials are calling “a suspicious fire investigation.

“The OPP Forensic Identification Services unit attended and processed the scene,” the release details. 

“At this time, the cause of the fire remains undetermined pending further investigation by the Wellington County OPP Crime Unit.”

Anyone with information about this incident can contact the Wellington County OPP at 1-888-310-1122. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit a tip at www.csgw.tips.