-0.1 C
Friday, November 15, 2019
Connecting Our Communities

Breslau home under construction explodes

Woolwich Fire Dept. deems cause to be “undetermined”


Restored Victorian home in Elmira the subject of TV competition

Along with the influx of visitors that comes with the holiday season, Elmira will see one new...

End of an era for MP

Two weeks having passed since the federal election, Harold Albrecht has had time to reflect on his...

Candidates make pitch to voters in Woolwich

Largely sticking to their respective party lines, the five candidates running in the Kitchener-Conestoga riding made their one all-candidates...

Meet the candidates

By Veronica Reiner & Aneta Rebiszewski Five candidates are vying for your vote in...


overcast clouds
-0.1 ° C
2 °
-2.2 °
93 %
90 %
2 °
-0 °
1 °
2 °
-0 °

Still under construction, a Breslau house was reduced to rubble last week in a fire that caused damages pegged at $1 million.

The structure on Woolwich Street South was still being built and unoccupied at the time of the fire, which broke out in the early morning hours of November 23. No injuries were reported, though a neighbouring home was damaged to the tune of $50,000 by the heat from the blaze.

The cause of the fire was deemed “undetermined,” though Woolwich officials ruled out any criminality.

“It was around 3:30 (a.m.), and both my wife and I just woke up with a start,” said next door neighbour Dan Battler, whose home was damaged by the heat. “It shook our house. It was a big explosion in the garage, I guess – I think that’s what happened. It woke us up, and we went running around our house to see what happened first. Then she looked out the window and saw the flames, so we phoned 911 right away.”

Woolwich firefighters spent the early hours combating blaze, and by late morning were going through the rubble of the burnt-out structure.

An investigation failed to identify the cause of the fire due to the extent of the damage, said Woolwich fire chief Dale Martin. A request for assistance was made to the Office of the Fire Marshal, but the provincial body declined to take part in the investigation.

“So what we did, we sent them pictures and they reviewed the pictures and declined to attend,” said Martin. “They said because of the damage, they probably couldn’t determine the cause anyways – they never did show up. So we just went with our investigation, that it was ‘undetermined,’ the cause.”

The inconclusive results of the investigation were corroborated by Waterloo Regional Police at the scene.

“They were there too, and they had agreed with our findings at that time,” said Martin, adding that criminal behaviour was not suspected. “From what we know, from all the interviews we did, we didn’t find it to be of suspicious nature.”

The house, which was under construction and unoccupied at the time of the fire, was on Woolwich Street South, between Shields and Berlin streets.

“It was totally under construction, so nobody in the house, no hydro to the house,” he added. The home had no furniture either, limiting the damage to just the structure.

Upon arriving at the scene, firefighters focused their efforts on preventing the flames from spreading to neighbouring properties. The fire warped the siding on Battlers’ house and shattered windows facing the burning building, but the home was otherwise left relatively unscathed.

“When we got here, [the fire] was out through the roof already. The whole place was full of fire,” said Martin of the destroyed building. “There was nothing left to save.”

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


New watering system is powered by the sun

Many hands may make light work, but automating the process really lessens the load. That’s especially helpful when the work involves relying on volunteers to provide the manual labour.

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Pair of convincing wins sees Jacks improve record

A pair of wins last weekend saw the Wellesley Applejacks jump a notch in the PJHL standings to claim second place in...

Sugar Kings turn the screws on Brampton

Another home-and-home winning weekend helped the Elmira Sugar Kings solidify their hold on top spot in the GOJHL’s Midwestern Conference. A pair of...

Junior girls’ capture EDSS’ first WCSSAA basketball title

In a season that already saw the team rack up win after win, the EDSS junior girls’ basketball team reached new heights...

Woolwich stays course with economic development

Woolwich’s vacant economic development and tourism officer (EDTO) position will be retained, councillors decided this week despite any numbers or measures to show...

Wellesley rec. complex project moves into fundraising mode

Wellesley Township having cleared the way for a potential new $22-million recreation complex, the focus is now on putting together a fundraising campaign...

Woolwich adopts new landscape guidelines for subdivisions as part of greening initiatives

Talk of trees right now typically involved the adjective Christmas, but Woolwich council is focusing just now on guidelines for planting in new...
- Advertisement -