Investigation continues into morning house fire on Weber Street

A fire has broken out in a partly demolished building on Weber Street West in Kitchener.

Weber Street West remains closed this morning between Victoria St. and Wellington St. in Kitchener as firefighters watch for flare-ups in the rubble of a vacant house.

The two-storey brick house was empty and slated for demolition as part of the Weber Street widening project, but instead caught fire early this morning.

The house itself has now been demolished with the help of a backhoe.

"If it was a regular occupied house, it would be approximately $300,000 worth of damage," said assistant platoon chief Andy O'Reilly.

O'Reilly told CBC News that the house was empty and was scheduled to be demolished today.

The fire started around 6:00 this morning, according to the Kitchener Fire Department.

But one neighbour said he saw smoke last night.

"Well last night when I left, I thought for sure the fire was still in the wall -- and it's an old house -- and that's what happened, then this morning at 5:30 the smoke came out again, said Fritz Gamer, who lives across the street.

The houses around 135 Weber had already been demolished and Gamer says police have been removing people from the buildings across the street for weeks. 

"They come down from the soup kitchen there -- they're homeless. They used to be over here, there was one office building -- they took them out of there too," said Gamer. 

The Kitchener Fire Department says the house was empty when they arrived, but the fire is suspicious.   

They won't be able to figure out a cause until the fire is out and they can get inside.