Toronto

Suspicious Pickering fire believed to have begun in car leaves residents displaced

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.

Emergency crews were called to Valley Farm Road early Wednesday, residents reported seeing an explosion

A suspicious fire at a Pickering townhouse complex left around 12 people displaced, officials say. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

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 her sister when she says she was awoken by screams to get out of the home. (Martin Trainor/CBC )

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."

Watch flames take over Pickering townhouse units

CBC News Toronto

3 years ago
0:33
A fire broke out on Wednesday morning in Pickering causing major damage to three townhouse units. 0:33

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. 

Investigators with the Ontario Fire Marshal`s office inspects a car as it is pulled away from the fire scene. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

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.

Firefighters battle a blaze at a townhouse complex in Pickering early Wednesday morning. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

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