The Office of the Fire Marshal says that the Finnish Labour Temple fire did not start in the basement or the first floor but there are many other factors that investigators cannot eliminate.
The historic Finnish Labour Temple was severely damaged in a blaze that started on Dec. 22 with fire crews remaining on the scene for several days.
The Office of the Fire Marshal began their investigation on Dec. 24 after Thunder Bay Fire Rescue extinguished the fire.
“It doesn’t look like it started on the second floor but there is space above the ceiling on the second floor and the third floor that can’t be completely examined but it looks like it was in that space,” said Jon Mercier, fire investigator with the Office of the Fire Marshal.
“We know somewhat where it started but there is a whole area on the third floor we can’t get into to narrow it down further,” explained Mercier.
The Office of the Fire Marshal has no information that would lead them to believe it was a set fire.
Mercier is still working on a report and speaking to firefighters who attended the fire and he is waiting for information from the building owner and the building plans.
Any official determination from the Fire Marshal is weeks away.
“With the third floor being mostly gone and collapsed, I can’t analyze all of the areas of possible origins,” said Mercier.
When asked if the fire could be related to the renovation construction work happening in the building at the time of the blaze, Mercier said “that is one of the hypotheses, that it could possibly be related to construction work, but I can’t say that with any certainty.”
Earlier this week, the large cast scale that was located near the entrance of the Hoito Restaurant in the Finnish Labour Temple basement was salvaged and is now on display at The Kitchen Nook and The Finnish Bookstore.