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Fire damages buildings in downtown Guelph

Web posted on April 06, 2007


An early morning fire has caused damage estimated at well over $1 million to a section of Guelph's downtown core. Buildings at 69 Wyndham Street and 5 Douglas Street (the Gummer Building) were involved.

Guelph Fire Chief Shawn Armstrong said this morning (Friday) that the call was received at 1:48 am and all five stations responded. In addition, off-duty officers were called back with a total of 60 firefighters on the scene at the height of the blaze. Crews remain on-site this morning with Douglas Street and a large section of Wyndham Street blocked to traffic.


Fire Crews were able to contain the fire to the top floor of the Gummer building, and the top two floors of the adjacent building. The facade and the lower three floors of the historic Gummer building were saved. Numerous businesses in the buildings, including Goldfinger, Venus Smiled, Twisted Assylum and the law offices of Vorvis, Anderson, Gray, Armstrong, sustained fire and water damage. Reports indicate that the CIBC building may have also suffered heavy water damage.

Guelph Fire Chief Shawn Armstrong calls the fire suspicious in nature, and officials from the Fire Marshall's Office and Guelph Police are on the scene to assist in determining the cause.

"Our people were able to protect some of the architectural features," said Chief Armstrong. I think they did a phenomenal job under the circumstances." As far as can be determined at the moment, there was no injury or loss of life. All occupants of the upper floor apartments in the buildings were evacuated. Guelph Transit buses helped to move the occupants to temporary accommodations.


Stephen Berry of the Salvation Army was on the site for most of the night, providing support from a Guelph Transit bus stationed in the square. Berry said that the fire appeared to have started in the building that houses Goldfinger and The Asylum (a recent tenant to that location). When it spread to the Gummer Building, it "went really fast" he commented.

Monitoring of the site and investigation continue.

YouTube Video of the Fire

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