Crews remain on scene of fire at Welland House Hotel in St. Catharines

CKTB - NEWS - Welland House Hotel Fire St. Catharines July 12, 2021

People in the Yates Street area of St. Catharines are still being asked to shelter in place following a significant fire at a historical building.

Fire crews are still on scene of this morning's blaze at the Welland House Hotel on Ontario Street, a remnant of salt-spring tourism.

Although the building was vacant at the time of the fire this morning, it had been used as a student residence.

Mayor Walter Sendzik says it is the largest fire he can remember in a long time in the downtown area. "It is a historic landmark. It is a historically designated building by council, so this is a very unfortunate incident that has taken place in downtown St. Catharines."

Crews from all six of the city's fire halls were involved, as well as additional support from Thorold and Pelham fire stations.

Gas has been shut off as a precaution and residents in the area may notice dirty water coming from their taps due to multiple hydrants being used to battle the fire.

No injuries have been reported so far, but crews are still on scene leading to road closures on Ontario Street from Church to St. Paul, King Street from Ontario Street to Queen Street, and William Street.

The St. Catharines Museum is collecting memories and sharing historic photographs of Welland House calling it a 'tangible connection to many different threads weaving the history of St. Catharines together.'

It was a place offering paid work for Freedom Seeker and hosted the 1st Girl Guide troop in North America alongside many other community organizations.