Underground car park fire deemed suspicious by London police

Thick smoke and loud explosions awoke a number of residents in a high-rise apartment building Saturday morning at 50 Capulet Lane in London, Ontario.

A fire broke out in the parking lot next to their building.

“It was like boom, boom, boom,” said Arwa Almady, who lives in the building. “I woke up and saw a lot of smoke coming out my window and then there were about ten big booms.”

Almardy described the black smoke as “terrible” and said it made his niece cough when she passed through her window.

A fire broke out in the underground car park of an apartment complex located at Capulet Lane and Beaverbrook Avenue on the morning of July 2, 2022. (Credit: London Fire Department/Twitter)“I don’t recognize the sound of an explosion, but it was really loud,” added Patricia Pigott, who could see smoke billowing from the garage.

What they heard was that a car burst into flames, then spread to the two adjacent vehicles.

“They heard the tires exploding, popping and freaking out a lot of people, of course,” said district manager Kevin Culbertson of the London Fire Service.

“With the building right next to it, the smoke was rising to the west side of the building. So yeah, it’s definitely probably [looked] to these people as if their building was on fire, he added.

London Fire Station 6, which is just around the corner from Oxford Street, responded within minutes. But with so much smoke and the cars parked below, it was hard to locate.

“There’s no ventilation readily available,” Culbertson said. “So we used the laser cameras, found the heat sources and it worked well. We had to use AFFF foam in there because of the gasoline from the cars on it.

Cars were parked in the spaces outside the garage, which also made it difficult to access.

London Police, London Fire Brigade and the Office of the Fire Marshal are investigating a suspicious car fire in a car park at 50 Capulet Lane on July 2, 2022 (Brent Lale/CTV News London)“We were lucky to find nearby access,” Culbertson added. “Normally you pass pipes over several levels to try to find where we are going, but we were lucky that it was right there. We hit it hard and fast and luckily there were no electric cars in there.

London Fires is asking a structural engineer to determine when it will be safe for tenants to access their vehicles.

Meanwhile, London Police deemed the fire suspicious and the investigation was handed over to the Street Crime Unit, with assistance from the London Fire Department and the Office of the Fire Marshal.

Police said there were no reported injuries and no damage estimate has been reported at this time.

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