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Fire at flea market building causes $500k in damages

Fire ripped through the former flea market building at the corner of Westdale Avenue and Bath Road on the night of Tuesday, Dec. 8 and into the morning the following day. Photo by Logan Cadue.

At approximately 10:25 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, fire broke out in the two-storey building located at 28 Bath Road.

The building, which formerly housed the Olde Circle Flea Market, a bingo hall, and a cooking school, along with other retail outlets, quickly became engulfed in flames. Kingston Fire and Rescue, with the support of Kingston Police and Frontenac Paramedics, worked quickly and tirelessly to extinguish the blaze, which kept firefighters working to extinguish sparks and hot spots for nearly 14 hours. Firefighters remained on site for approximately 24 hours, monitoring for further sparks or flare ups, and the building was partially demolished to aid in the investigation.

Known to many Kingstonians as the former Wilmot’s Dairy location, the building was reportedly empty at the time of the fire, though some witnesses claimed to have seen people fleeing the area as the flames broke out. No injuries were reported. The building, owned by Kingston Terminal Properties, a Springer Group company, was already slated for demolition as part of its redevelopment.

Streets in the area remained closed for the duration of the fire, and then again during the demolition work, and some adjacent businesses have since closed due to smoke and other damages related to the fire. While the Ontario Fire Marshal was contacted regarding the incident, they did not attend, and, on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020, Kingston Fire and Rescue concluded their investigation. The property has been turned over to the owner, and the damages sustained are estimated at $500,000, Kingston Fire and Rescue said.

“We have no cause to believe foul play, and due to extensive fire damage and structural instability, the cause of the fire cannot be determined at this time,” said Chief Fire Prevention Officer Ted Posadowski.

Below is a photo gallery of the fire and work done to put it out, as well as some of the aftermath of the blaze. Additionally, we’ve included a time-lapse video of the fire as it continues to grow and is eventually extinguished.

All footage by Logan Cadue and Lucas Mulder.
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