UPDATE: Sarnia Firefighters Battle Downtown Blaze

Fire crews respond to a house fire on Christina St. in Sarnia, January 2, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Currie Emergency Photography)

The Ontario Fire Marshall has been called in to try to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed a boarded-up home on Christina St. S late Tuesday afternoon.

Sarnia Fire Chief John Kingyens says 15 firefighters from three stations responded to the single storey structure at around 4pm, and had to battle flames and heavy smoke in extreme cold.

“They were combating ice conditions so it was very difficult getting footing, everything is slippery when you’re handling equipment, it slows you right down,” says Kingyens. “When they pulled up there was fire coming from the rear of the building.”

Two firefighters were taken to hospital with unspecified injuries and have since been released.

Sarnia police are treating the cause as suspicious since there was no hydro or gas service to the house.

Chief Kingyens says there have been reports of squatters going into the small wood frame home that was full of stored household items.

Damage is estimated at over $125,000.

Fire crews were still on the scene Wednesday afternoon and Christina St. was still closed between Talfourd St. and Devine St.

-With files from Lee Michaels