Durham Regional Police vehicles destroyed in Clarington blaze

A fire at a police storage building near Oshawa Sunday is confirmed to have destroyed police cars, though the extent of the damage and cause of the blaze is still unknown, Durham Regional Police told the Star Monday.

Clarington fire services were still on scene Monday evening extinguishing remaining fires at the facility on Courtice Court, near Highway 401 and Highway 418. Police will not be able to enter the building until firefighters have finished, which could be Tuesday at the earliest.

“What we know for sure is some police vehicles are gone,” said Durham Regional Police Sgt. Joanne Bortoluss. “It was a massive fire. The main damage was to the vehicle bay area. If there’s any damage to the other side of the building, we won’t know until we get in there.”

Other areas of the building house police evidence. Bortoluss said she doesn’t anticipate damage to the police fleet will impact police operations.

Clarington fire chief Mariano Perini said it took five firetrucks and 30 firefighters total over 24 hours to tame the blaze.

“It’s challenging given the structure and type of building,” he said. “But it’s a fairly typical type of fire for an industrial setting, no worse than normal.”

Bortoluss said police do not suspect the fire was lit intentionally at this time.

Perini said the cause of the fire cannot be determined until the area has been examined.

“Probably by (Tuesday) they’ll have a scene examination done, depending on when equipment gets here,” said Perini. “It may take a couple more days if they need engineers or anything specialized.”

Ben Cohen is a Toronto-based staff reporter for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @bcohenn

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