East London house fire considered suspicious

London firefighters battle a house fire on Frances Street, February 13, 2020. (Photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News)

A fire that caused $400,000 damage to a house in east London is considered suspicious.

Multiple 911 calls were made to emergency crews after thick smoke was seen coming from the single-storey home on Frances Street, east of Egerton Street around 9:50 a.m. on Thursday. When firefighters arrived they found one person waiting outside.

“Our crews were able to make a forced entry and were able to knock the fire down quite quickly,” said Platoon Chief Colin Shewell. “We are working jointly with our London police partners in conjunction with our fire prevention inspector due to the suspicious nature of the fire.”

Firefighters continued to extinguish hotspots, primarily in the attic area, into the afternoon. At the height of the blaze, approximately 25 firefighters were at the scene. A pared-down crew is expected to remain on the normally quiet street for the remainder of the day.

No one was hurt in the fire.

“We will be reaching out to our partners with the Ontario Fire Marshal due to the extent of the damage… to find the fire cause,” added Shewell.

The London police street crime unit has also been tapped to assist with the ongoing investigation.