Nor­wood man ar­rested in con­nec­tion to Peter­bor­ough fires

Fire hits three busi­nesses along Lansdowne Street West; OPP prob­ing $1 mil­lion blaze in Nor­wood

The Peterborough Examiner - - FRONT PAGE - EX­AM­INER STAFF

City po­lice made an ar­rest early Tues­day morn­ing af­ter a se­ries of fires were re­ported along Lansdowne Street West.

Th­ese fires in­cluded a blaze at a lum­ber stor­age build­ing at Mer­rett Home Hard­ware Build­ing Cen­tre that caused an es­ti­mated $400,000 in dam­age.

Fire­fight­ers headed to the Lansdowne Street West prop­erty just be­fore mid­night Mon­day, find­ing smoke and flames com­ing from an up­per level of a build­ing. Crews put the fire out be­fore it could spread.

That fire also brought po­lice to the area. Of­fi­cers found a sec­ond fire be­hind a dump­ster at Cas­trol Ex­press Oil Change and Tire Cen­tre and a third fire be­hind Paul­mac’s Pets, both on Lansdowne Street West.

Po­lice spot­ted a sus­pect, who tried to run but was caught near Brealey Drive and Lansdowne Street West.

Gor­don Sean Slack, 33, of Maple Av­enue, Nor­wood, was charged with three counts of ar­son caus­ing dam­age to prop­erty. He was to ap­pear in court Tues­day. Po­lice re­mained at all three lo­ca­tions, with the On­tario Fire Mar­shal in­ves­ti­gat­ing later Tues­day.

Home Hard­ware owner Drew Mer­rett told Peter­bor­ough This Week that he re­ceived a call from the fire de­part­ment around mid­night.

“I was think­ing it was go­ing to be a lot

worse than it was be­cause that shed could have re­ally taken off and gone crazy,” Mer­rett said. “It is all re­ally su­per-dry lum­ber.”

City fire crews quickly got things un­der con­trol, he said.

“The fire de­part­ment was ex­cel­lent,” Mer­rett said. “It was all dry wood and it was go­ing pretty good. They soaked all the sur­round­ing ar­eas and did a good job con­tain­ing it.”

The store lost about $200,000 in lum­ber, he said.

Mean­while Peter­bor­ough County OPP are con­tin­u­ing to in­ves­ti­gate af­ter a $1-mil­lion fire early Mon­day morn­ing above the Home Hard­ware store at 2361 County Road 45 in Nor­wood. The fire broke out in an up­per floor apart­ment unit above the store in a build­ing owned by Aspho­del-Nor­wood Town­ship Mayor Rodger Bon­neau, badly dam­ag­ing the unit, caus­ing wa­ter dam­age to the store and also clos­ing the GP Wealth Man­age­ment office and the Ready and Re­li­able Laun­dro­mat, Global News Peter­bor­ough re­ported.

Two peo­ple were treated for smoke in­hala­tion and five peo­ple were dis­placed from the apart­ments above the store, Global News Peter­bor­ough re­ported. There was no word as of Tues­day night whether the Nor­wood fire was re­lated to the Peter­bor­ough fires.

CLIF­FORD SKARSTEDT EX­AM­INER

Lon­nie Schu­bert, left, and Chris Par­tridge of the On­tario Fire Mar­shal’s Office in­ves­ti­gate a blaze be­hind Mer­rett Home Hard­ware.

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