Fire at Toronto's Old City Hall appears to be suspicious, officials say
Officials say they are treating a fire at Toronto’s Old City Hall Monday evening as suspicious.
Toronto Fire Services Chief Matthew Pegg said firefighters were called to the southeast corner of the building just after 8 p.m.
“I have not been inside yet, but I understand there is a significant amount of damage inside the building,” Pegg told reporters early Monday night.
In an update later Monday night, Pegg told Global News in a statement that investigators have evidence that the fire may have been deliberate.
“[It] appears to be suspicious based upon our initial scene assessment,” he said.
Toronto police also said in an update on Twitter Monday night that a small fire was “set” in a room and that there was another fire in another room. Police said the fire “may have been deliberately set.”
6IX SECRETS: What does it take to keep Toronto’s Old City Hall clock running?
The Office of the Fire Marshal was called in to assist with determining the origin, cause, and circumstances leading up to the fire.
The building, which first opened in 1899, currently operates as an Ontario Court of Justice and hears criminal cases.
Old City Hall
-Small fire set in room
-Another fire in another room
-May have been deliberately set
-Fire Marshal o/s#GO1299623
— Toronto Police OPS (@TPSOperations) July 17, 2018
Meanwhile, Pegg credited the sprinkler system for controlling the fire until crews arrived and praised firefighters for their quick work.
“[Firefighters] controlled it very quickly. That’s why this fire actually never escalated,” he said.
“It’s a fantastic old building … always a tragedy when we see fires happen in these types of buildings.”