Hanover fire cleanup expected to take several days

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It’s expected to take several days for Hanover police and the Ontario Fire Marshal to investigate the blaze the tore through a downtown building. 

The demolition of two buildings destroyed by fire in Hanover this week began late Friday.

Hanover Police Chief Chris Knoll tells CTV News the process is expected to last the entire holiday weekend, and precautions around the site are in place.

“The demolition and scene examination started today and is anticipated to take the weekend, targeting to finish by Tuesday. Security fencing has been installed to secure the area and the storefronts have been opened to foot traffic,” Knoll said on Friday evening.

He added that the street itself in front of the buildings will remain closed at this time.

According to police, 10th Street between 9th Avenue and 10th Avenue will remain closed for the weekend as fire and police investigators search the debris for evidence.

The Thursday morning fire gutted the former Forum Hotel rooming house, apartments and Fabulous Fashions clothing store, impacting 70 residents. The buildings will be demolished for safety reasons.

Police say Johnny K Sports continues to be assessed and a better understanding of that damage will be known as the clean up gets underway.

Hanover police have not received any reports of missing persons and all known residents of the fire-gutted buildings have been located and are accounted for.

The cause remains under investigation, as Hanover Police work with the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office on the case.

Anyone with information or that has video of the fire, especially between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m. on May 19, are encouraged to contact investigators at 519.364.4280 ext. 101. 

— With files from CTV News Kitchener's Tony Grace