Police say Clinton fire deliberately set
Published Sunday, March 19, 2017 4:30PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, March 20, 2017 6:51PM EDT
The day after an extensive fire in downtown Clinton, a 47-year-old man is facing charges, including arson.
OPP say they have reason to believe that the fire was set deliberately.
Police have arrested 47-year-old Ronald Davis of Central Huron. He is charged with arson - disregard for human life and failing to comply with a probation order.
Highway 4 (Albert Street) between Huron Street and Rattenbury Street in Clinton is anticipated to remain closed for the next two days.
Meanwhile, residents and officials are finally getting a chance to survey the damage.
Many say they're concerned that the loss of the buildings extensively damaged in a fire Saturday will have a tremendous impact on the community.
The smoke was still smoldering Sunday on what used to be the roof top of the Old Beaver Block, built 137 years ago.
Residents may never know what caused the fire that brought about 50 firefighters from the surrounding region to assist. The Ontario Fire Marshal has now left the scene.
Fire crews were called in around 5:30 a.m. and the blaze forced the closure of the town’s main intersection and left five residents displaced.
"Nobody can get close to the building. It's not safe - you never know if it's going to come crashing down,” said Dave Reneer, the Central Huron fire chief.
Four storefronts and five apartment units will have to be torn down.
Residents are fearful for the future of their town.
“It's awful because they're going to have to tear almost that whole block down. That means it'll sit empty as a gaping hole in the main street again. It’s not what you want for business,” says Toby Rainey.