Firefighters in Oshawa battled two blazes within a short distance of one another overnight, prompting a massive response from Durham first responders
Crews were first called to a low-rise apartment building under construction completely engulfed near Bloor and Simcoe streets around 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
Much of the building was destroyed, with parts of it collapsing as the flames enveloped the structure. The fire was knocked down with added help from divisions in Whitby and Clarington but crews remained on scene Sunday afternoon as hot spots repeatedly reignited and needed to be extinguished.
Some nearby residents were evacuated as a precaution but have since returned to their homes.
About an hour after the first fire, another fire broke out just a kilometer down the road on a property on College Street and Cromwell Avenue, spreading to a house and business nearby.
That fire was completely knocked down and no injuries were reported at either location.
Preliminary estimates say the fires caused about $5- to $6-million dollars in damage. Four-million dollars of that figure is being attributed to the apartment construction site alone, which also caused damage to nearby cars and homes and apartment buildings in the area.
The Ontario Fire Marshall has been notified and both fires are being investigated as possibly linked and potentially arson.