A rear storage warehouse at Hully Gully on Wharncliffe Rd. destroyed by fire, December 28, 2017. (Photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News)

Cause Of Hully Gully Fire ‘Undetermined’

What started a $2.5-million fire that destroyed a storage warehouse at Hully Gully will remain a mystery.

The Ontario Fire Marshal, working in conjunction with local fire investigators, has wrapped up its investigation into the December 28 blaze, declaring the cause to be undetermined.

“There is no clear indication based on the extent of overhaul that was required to put the fire out, which makes it very difficult to pinpoint an exact cause. Therefore we rule them undetermined when we have fires of that extent,” said London Deputy Fire Chief Jack Burt.

The results of the fire probe come nearly a week after the early morning blaze that collapsed the storage warehouse behind the large marine and powersports equipment dealer at 1705 Wharncliffe Rd. S. A backhoe had to be brought in to shift the crumpled metal of the structure to allow firefighters to get at hotspots. Burt noted that contributed to the troubles determining the cause.

“Anytime that you bring heavy equipment into a fire scene like that or have a fire scene with that much destruction, it makes it very difficult to actually pinpoint an exact cause, hence we rule them undetermined,” said Burt.

More than 20 London firefighters were on scene and two aerial trucks were used to contain the fire, which broke out around 4am. At its worst, flames were seen shooting 30 metres into the air and little explosions could be heard. One firefighter was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The storage unit housed a variety of motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, Ski-Doos, and half a dozen customer boats as well as the facility’s snow removal equipment and a forklift.

Following the fire, Hully Gully owner Randy Collins was quick to praise the work of the city’s firefighters.

“We are so thankful that the London Fire Department was able to be here and contain the fire to the one building, with no damage at all to our main store,” Collins said at the time.