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Sands Motel fire described as suspicious

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A small Friday morning fire at the old Sands Motel has been described as suspicious by North Bay Fire and Emergency Services Chief, Jason Whiteley.

“Someone has been squatting in here, using the area as a refuge,” he explained. “There was some furniture and it looks like it started in the furniture. It could have been unintentional, like smoking. It is a suspicious fire as they’re not supposed to be here.”

The motel has been empty for quite some time, as renovations were underway to turn the spot into condominiums. However, that work has been on hold since mid-2018. Because of that, Whiteley says the fire could have been much worse.

“The building has been gutted,” he said. “The wood structure of the building is fully exposed. We were quite fortunate that passerby’s saw the fire early. When we got here, the fire was just the contents. If it had gotten past the contents like the chairs, and into the structure, we would have been into a serious fire.”

As for the cause, Whiteley says determining that could be difficult.

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