Days after fire, concern for compromised evidence
Chase Banger, CTV Kitchener
Published Friday, September 7, 2018 8:42AM EDT
Three days after the Cambridge OPP detachment was destroyed in a fire, concern now is turning to evidence stored there.
While fire didn’t reach the basement where the evidence vaults were, water did.
“Water that’s just flowed into the basement, everything is soaked,” said Manny Garcia, the lead investigator with the Ontario Fire Marshall’s office.
The blaze began on Tuesday afternoon, attended by 20 firefighters from three different stations.
After the roof collapsed, the building was considered a write-off by fire crews.
Now, a specially-trained team will go into the rubble to recover any evidence they can, including possibly dangerous substances.
“We’re waiting on the okay from a structural engineer before we can enter the building,” said Cst. Lauren Ball.
There was hope that most of the evidence, most of which was stored on shelving, survived.
Despite having thorough catalogues of evidence obtained, not having physical evidence could impact ongoing cases.
“Every one will be looked at differently, and then of course what cases can officers give verbal evidence of what they saw, what they seized,” said public safety analyst Chris Lewis.
The cause of the fire has not been determined, but an electrical fire or a fire in a diesel generator have both been considered.
Damage has been estimated at $1 million.
With reporting from Christina Succi.