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Cider Mill Barn Fire “Suspicious”

Vacant Property Might Be Criminal Hideout

WATERLOO, ONTARIO, FIRE UNITS were called out early Tuesday morning to the former Hergott Cider Mill for a spectacular barn fire that required a tanker shuttle.

photo by Ian Haight

The vacant farm which is now owned by the City of Waterloo has no utilities hooked up which causes the police to classify it as "suspicious origin."

When the FD arrived on the scene shortly after midnight, the barn was already fully involved and the fire attack was immediately centered on containment and protecting the other buildings on the property.

Ian Haight / Waterloo Regional Fire

While there is no immediate concern that there is a victim somewhere in the rubble, it will be looked at carfully today as the investigators paw through the debris.  Very recently there has been a wide police manhunt for a 20-yr.-old violent criminal, Michael Fortune, who could have been using the barn as a hideout and accidentally started the fire.  CTV News adds:

"Understandably with the amount of interest that that case has had, it was in the minds of the officers who responded last evening" says Waterloo Regional Police spokesman Olaf Heinzel.

What’s left is still hot and smouldering and according to fire fighters too unstable for any one to get inside. As a result investigators brought in a heavy machine to pick apart the rubble.

Waterloo Fire prevention officer, John Percy says "What I can tell you is Waterloo Regional police did respond initially. They do not have any concerns at this time and neither do we that there are any humans in the area or in the fire at its point."

CTV News

No injuries have been reported and the Provincial Fire Marshal's office in investigating the fire.

Ian Haight of Waterloo Regional Fire has a photo gallery HERE.
Read the full story in CTV News HERE.

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