Suspicious Pickering fire believed to have begun in car leaves residents displaced
Emergency crews were called to Valley Farm Road early Wednesday, residents reported seeing an explosion
Investigators looking into a "suspicious" overnight fire that caused major damage to three townhouse units in Pickering believe the blaze began inside a vehicle parked at the complex.
Durham police were called to Valley Farm Road around 1:20 a.m. to find an "active fire" at the townhouse complex. Fire crews were already on scene.
No injuries have been reported, but approximately 12 residents are displaced, officials say.
Georgia Zafiris was in the neighbourhood visiting family when she was awoken around 1 a.m. by her sister yelling for everyone to get out of the house, which is approximately three doors down from the scene.
At first she thought she was dreaming, she said. Instead, she says, it was "a nightmare."
"I came out and heard a big explosion," she told CBC News. "I can't believe something like this would happen. Where is there a safe place to live, really? But luckily nobody got hurt."
Police earlier told CBC Toronto that they were investigating vandalism of cars at the scene. Investigators say they aren't ruling out the possibility of a connection between the vandalism and the fire.
Anyone who has surveillance footage of the scene or any other information is asked to contact the west division criminal investigations bureau at 888-579-1520, ext. 2541, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.