Fire at commercial building in Dorchester under investigation
An early morning fire ripped through a commercial building housing two businesses in Dorchester on Thursday morning.
The Thames Centre Fire Department and Middlesex OPP were called to the blaze around 2 a.m. at Weathertech Restoration and London Caulking in the 1000 block of Shaw Road.
Thames Centre Fire Chief Randy Kalan says "It's in excess of 15-16,000 sq. ft. structure and it had already breached the roof and was fully involved upon our arrival."
Around 8 a.m., heavy smoke could still be seen billowing from the building, there were also some explosions due to flammable materials inside the warehouse.
The Ministry of the Environment was called in, but determined there was no need to evacuate the area.
Eventually, much of the structure eventually collapsed, leaving the building completely destroyed.
There are no reported injuries in relation to the fire and employees tell CTV News that no one is believed to have been inside at the time.
Some of the approximately 50 people who are employed at the building were on hand as they arrived to their jobs only find their workplace going up in smoke.
Employee Tyson Beckstead says "It's a very numbing situation to look at a company this big, to go down in flames. A kind of situation like this at 6:30 this morning, is very shocking to me...and it's probably very shocking to the rest of the crew out there."
Police closed Shaw Road between Marion Street and Gore Road as they battled the blaze, but the road was reopened shortly after noon, though crews remaind on scene dousing hotspots.
OPP Const. Laurie Houghton said in a statement, “Although there has been extensive damage and motorists might be tempted to stop and take a look, we are urging motorists to do what they have a responsibility to do. We need drivers to focus solely on their driving for their own safety and the safety of others in the area."
The cause of the fire is under investigation and there is limited information at this time, say OPP.
Kalan says "We will be bringing in heavy equipment to assist in removal of some of the collapsed structure to afford us the opportunity to move in and to do so safely."
An email sent on behalf of both companies late Wednesday afternoon should reassure those worried about their jobs so close to Christmas.
It reads, "While we have suffered significant damage, we have relocated and there will be no disruption to business operations. Job sites are running as usual and customers will continue to be serviced. We would like to thank the hard work of the Thames Centre and neighbouring fire departments and the many volunteer firefighters along with the OPP."