$500K damage estimate in Blackfriars blaze deemed suspicious by London, Ont. police

A stubborn fire at a home in London’s Blackfriars neighbourhood on Thursday caused roughly $500,000 worth of damage and is being investigated as suspicious by police.

No injuries were reported in the fire, which occurred shortly before 5 p.m. at 66 Blackfriars St., a single-floor home located a block east of Wharncliffe Road at the corner of Albion Street.

Crews arriving at the scene found a fully involved home with smoke and flame visible, said London Fire Platoon Chief Kirk Loveland on Thursday.

“Fire had extended into the attic, so there was flames at the rear of the building along with smoke venting from the eaves,” he said.

The London Fire Department tweeted around 5:10 p.m. that crews were continuing to attack the blaze offensively, but noted that no injuries had been reported and that all occupants of the home had been accounted for.

“Three people (were) at home at the time and they were accounted for, and then we had to confirm (a) fourth was away at work, and that person was accounted for,” Loveland said.

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Around 10 minutes later, fire officials posted that the blaze had been knocked down and that primary and secondary searches came up clear.

Loveland says most of the fire damage was dealt to the home’s exterior and roof section, while the inside of the home saw heavy smoke damage.

“It was a stubborn fire because it got into the attic. The crews did a good job opening it up and containing the fire, but there was a lot of hidden fire, so it took them a while, but the main fire they knocked down right away,” he said.

In an update Friday, police revealed that the fire was being viewed as suspicious.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation by London police, the fire department, and the province’s fire marshal.

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