Seaforth grocery store blaze suspected arson

April 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

seaforthfoodlandfire6HEATHER BOA News Now HURON EAST – An early morning blaze that destroyed Seaforth’s only grocery store is now being treated under suspicion of arson, says Huron East’s fire chief, Marty Bedard.

seaforthfoodlandfire4A downtown block remained cordoned off from traffic by yellow tape earlier this afternoon, with volunteer firefighters lingering on scene 11 hours after the fire was reported by the store’s alarm company. A crew worked a fire hose to cool debris at the north end of the building, while a representative from the Ontario Marshal’s office and OPP climbed into the bucket of the aerial truck for a closer look at damage. A cloud of smoke settled over the building and a smell like rotten meat hung in the air.

Firefighters responded to the call at about 2:15 a.m., working at the back of the building where the fire originated. Crews went into the building from the front, but were called back out when firefighters in the aerial truck and on a neighbouring building noticed the fire was spreading through the false ceiling.

seaforthfoodlandfire1“The ceiling was starting to collapse a little bit so we pulled everybody out and it was an exterior attack from there,” Bedard said. At that point, mutual aid was called from Clinton and Mitchell fire halls. The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office was called in because of the potential dollar value lost in the blaze and its suspicious nature.

“If the nuisance fire was what they were after, this is the end result,” Bedard said, noting firefighters were put at risk.

At the height of the blaze, about 40 firefighters worked with two aerial trucks, a tanker, three pumpers, rescue trucks and water from five nearby hydrants. Bedard estimates the fire was under control by about 7 a.m., just as daylight was breaking.

Nobody was in the building at the time of the fire.

seaforthfoodlandfire3The store’s owner, Steve Delchiaro, was away at the time, but Bedard said he is working with town officials to set up a temporary location that will serve the town’s residents, including its seniors.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Huron OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or (519) 524-8314.

Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.

 

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