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'Pipe bomb' found after Brampton church fire detonated

Peel police have detonated what they believe to be a pipe bomb found during a church fire in Brampton Tuesday morning.

Officers took the device in a container to a remote area in Caledon and detonated it. There were no further details immediately available.

Crews were called to St. Jerome’s Catholic church on Chinguacousy Road, north of Steeles Avenue, around 5 a.m. Firefighters managed to knock down the blaze quickly. One person was reportedly taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters noticed a device on the floor of the building during the response, quickly retreated and called for the bomb squad.

“I know that there were no signs of forced entry as far as the doors go. Whether something was thrown through the window or not, I’m not sure,” Const. Erin Cooper said.

Chinguacousy is closed in the area as a precaution and will likely remain closed for some time, until the scene is secure.

Investigators are trying to determine if the blaze is linked to another one nearby about an hour earlier.

Firefighters were called to that earlier blaze in Mississauga after flames erupted at a new townhouse development, a few kilometres away from St. Jerome’s.

The fire broke out in some homes under construction on Financial Drive, near Steeles and Mississauga Road, around 4 a.m. At least three units were damaged.

No injuries were reported in that fire.

There’s no word yet on the causes or damage estimates for both fires.

“We’re definitely investigating that they are possibly related,” Cooper said.

“They’re both suspicious. They’re fairly close together, as well as the timing of them is really close as well.”