Fire causes $5M in damage at Louisa Street condos in Kitchener

No one was hurt in a fire that ravaged the downtown Kitchener condominium complex Victoria Common at St. Leger and Louisa Streets early Tuesday morning.

No one was hurt, but residents are displaced following Victoria Common fire

A fire that ravaged Victoria Common, a downtown Kitchener condominium complex at St. Leger and Louisa streets, caused an estimated at $5 million in damages. 

Although much of the fire was under control as of around 8 a.m., firefighters continued to douse hot spots in the area with water, focusing on the residential unit at 342 Louisa St., said Kevin Karley of the Kitchener Fire Service. 

"Right now we've got damage to multiple ... units," Karley said. 

We looked out our back window to see flames on our window.- Laura Launslager, Victoria Common resident

Losani Homes is the development company building the townhouses at the Victoria Common site. The company said the damage was "catastrophic." 

"The fire affected three blocks of townhomes. It’s quite likely that two are completely destroyed," said William Liske, general counsel for Losani Homes. 

"There’s a fourth block of townhomes that’s probably affected by the water to put the fires out. It could be flooded," he said. 

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but according to Karley, it started in a section of the condominium site that was under construction, then jumped into a section of completed townhouse units. 

Laura Launslager lives next door to the residential unit with the most extensive damage. 

"We got woken up around 5 this morning to the firefighters knocking on the door because the whole complex behind us was on fire," said Launslager. 

A large fire was first reported in downtown Kitchener around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. (@RiverGrow/Twitter)

"We looked out our back window to see flames on our window." 

Investigators to continue to work at site

The Ontario Fire Marshal is expected to begin an investigation of the fire Wednesday morning, Karley said. 

Residents in the affected townhouses have been given hotel accommodation by Losani Homes while the investigation into the fire is completed. 

In a release, the City of Kitchener said fire investigators would be working for the next few days at the site. A fire command post will also be open for updates between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily until the investigation is complete. Updates from the city will also be made available here. 

There are road closures in the area as multiple firetrucks remain on the scene.

Louisa Street between Margaret Avenue and St. Leger Street was closed as the investigation continues.

Police and firefighters advise drivers to avoid the area. 


  • An earlier version of this story stated that the fire damaged a townhouse unit at 342 St. Leger St. In fact, the damage was to a unit at 342 Louisa St.
    Jul 22, 2014 9:50 AM ET