Point Edward CAO concerned about trespassers, fires at former Holmes Foundry site

A firefighter at former Holmes Foundry site Feb 1, 2021 (Photo courtesy of Greg Grimes)

Point Edward’s chief administrative officer is concerned about recent fires at the former Holmes Foundry site.

Jim Burns said individuals are staying in the derelict buildings and lighting fires to stay warm.

“Those fires are putting people’s health and safety and lives at risk, including our firefighters, and other emergency responders, and the people that are actually starting the fires are putting themselves at risk,” said Burns. “Those buildings have been declared unfit for human habitation and we don’t know what could cause one of those buildings to come down.”

He said they’ve made several efforts over the years to keep people out of the 16-acre property near Highway 402, between Christina and Front Streets.

“We’ve put fencing up, we’ve put signage up, we have boarded doors and windows and what typically happens is that boarding that we’ve put up, gets taken down and used to burn.”

Burns said the village continues to work with its contractor, and the ministries of labour and environment on an updated plan to complete the clean-up including demolishing the buildings.

“We’ve done work that has determined that the designated substances have been removed from the buildings, but we’re now trying to figure out where we go from here.”

The labour ministry issued a stop work order, halting cleanup work last March, and village officials are now waiting for an updated cost of completing the job.

In the meantime, Burns is encouraging anyone who sees suspicious activity at the site to call police.

Firefighters at former Holmes Foundry site Feb 1, 2021 (Photo courtesy of Greg Grimes)

Firefighters at former Holmes Foundry site Feb 1, 2021 (Photo courtesy of Greg Grimes)