Fire burns through notorious rooming house known as Murder Mansion

Fire has gutted a notorious building known as Murder Mansion.
Much of the rooming house's roof is gone and the interior is heavily damaged. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

Fire has gutted a notorious building known as Murder Mansion.

The fire at the multi-unit building, which has been vacant for a couple of months and set for demolition, was called in around 2:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Through the early morning hours, fire crews with aerial ladders sprayed down the building on Balmoral Street, sending smoke into the air around the neighbourhood.

Balmoral remains blocked to traffic north at Notre Dame Avenue.

Fire crews spray water on the boarded-up and vacant building Thursday morning. (Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC)

Police said the blaze is likely suspicious because the building, surrounded in temporary fencing with a Wreck It Demolition sign, was vacant.

The property at 624-626 Balmoral has been the site of numerous assaults, stabbings and homicides over the past 10 years, earning it the Murder Mansion moniker.

In December, it caught fire three times in just over two weeks. The last one ultimately forced the tenants of the 22-unit building out for good.

The fire at the vacant residence, known as Murder Mansion, began around 2:30 a.m. on Thursday. (Submitted by Rachel Foulger)

The owner, Jeff Shwaluk, told CBC News in February that he had applied for a demolition permit and was talking to developers who had recently bought some adjacent land.

Shwaluk was looking to sell his property and said his asking price was about $400,000 with the building on it, or about $500,000 with the building torn down.

The property at 624-626 Balmoral St., has been the site of numerous assaults and homicides over the past 10 years. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)
The roof of the building was missing large chunks after the fire Thursday morning. (Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC)
Icicles hang from the structure after the fire Thursday morning. (Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC)