VIDEO: Fire Hits Downtown Windsor

Damage is pegged at $300,000 after a fire gutted two downtown Windsor businesses.

Firefighters were called to Ray and Kim's Variety and the neighbouring cigar shop, La Casa del Habano, at about 3pm to find thick smoke pouring out

Crews proceeded to attack the fire before closing off the 300-block of Ouellette Ave. to ventilate the buildings.

Investigators are calling the cause of the fire "accidental" and blaming careless disposal of "smoking materials" — as a result an investigator from the Ontario Fire Marshal has been called off.

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A fire burns in an alleyway in the 300-block of Ouellette Ave. in downtown Windsor on June 14, 2017. (Photo by Imad Najjar)

One of the employees at the cigar shop next door saw the blaze.

"The gas meters, which were relocated a few months ago to our side of the building, there are flames shooting out of the meter."

Shortly after arriving, Windsor police evacuated the Windsor Star building next door. Not long after that, the sidewalk was cleared because of the danger of toxic smoke from the fire.

Windsor Fire and Rescue Services issued a special thanks to Windsor police and Windsor Star security for their "eagle eyes" and diligence in determining the cause of the fire.

Crews have now left the scene.