FIRE ERUPTS in Cornwall Ontario Cotton Mills area – Sunday October 10 – 12:27 AM October 11 – will update

Cornwall ON – As you can see from the photo there’s a big fire going on in Cornwall Ontario tonight.   We’re on LIVE on  You can call in toll free 877.640.1175 if you’re at the scene or please email any info or photos to and we’ll keep updating you from Studio A.

No injuries have been reported so far.

UPDATE 8:36 PM  Jason McNamara, Cornwall’s hottest photographer made it to the site and pinged this in.

The Fire is spreading so please use EXTREME Caution and let the Fire Department do their thing!

From Heather David:

More updates to come.

From Robert Sel at 9:19

From Renee

Corus is reporting on their website that they can’t access their station.  We’re not sure if the evac order was given or not and they are operating via satellite.



More from Robert Sel

Richard Komorowski just reported to us that some residents are hosing down their houses.  More pics and info to come in.   We’re also received unconfirmed reports that the fire may have started in Source Wood Products, but we have no confirmation yet.

these two shots were from Missy Beauvais

From Richard Komorowski again

I don’t think I got any good shots, but there was a volcano of cinders and ash flying from the building and landing in the area south of Montreal Rd., between McConnell and Alice. This is where the residents were out in force with garden hoses.
From Ashley March
from Stephen Herrington
From John VanOverbeek

Firefighters are now evacuating nearby homes.
From Dianne P
“The burnt debris(embers) were incredible earlier this evening. We are in the Alice/Park area and we hosed down our house. The first picture is a chunk that had fallen, that is a man’s size 12 shoe beside it. And the next picture is how far away from the house it was, maybe 6 feet. Louisa has more burnt debris. These pieces were falling still red and on fire.”
Cotton Mills before fire
The city put out the following:

A large spectacular fire erupted early Sunday evening in the historic Cotton Mill district of Cornwall’s waterfront.

As of 11:00pm, Cornwall Fire Services personnel have contained the fire to the abandoned four story building at the west end of the Cotton Mill area.

Fire crews are concentrating on ensuring that the nearby Weave Shed (east end of the area) is not affected. It is expected that parts of the affected building will burn for some time. The Ontario Fire Marshall’s office has been contacted.

The Cornwall Community Police Department has established a perimeter around the site in question for safety reasons (parts of the building are unstable and could collapse at any time) and to allow fire crews to complete their work.

The perimeter is as follows:

Marlborough/William St.

Lennox/Albert St.

Lennox/Arthur St.

Lennox/Edward St.

McConnell/ Prince Albert St.

The City of Cornwall’s Municipal Works Department is erecting barricades where possible.

Additional information will be available Monday.


Mark McDonald Kilger for Mayor Schnitzels


  1. The old cotton mill goes up in flames tonight. Just a week ago funding announced to transform them into condos with funding from OMAFRA. What is an easy way to flush out existing business’ occupying those buildings…? Coincidence?

  2. What building is on fire. It is the offices where CCAC are along with Chorus Entertainment?

  3. Is this near Montreal Rd right near the old ship docks where everyone fishes and swims??

  4. I always assumed that when buildings such as this are put out of commission, all flammable substances are removed.

    When the C.I.L. building beneath the bridge burned in the spring, we were told it was used to store salt, yet black thick smoke continued for many many hours and the international bridge was closed. Salt does not burn, and so I wonder what was really in that building, and what is burning at the Cotton Mills tonight.

    Empty buildings don’t burn like this, other than the framing itself. The Cotton Mill fire seems to have a lot of fuel to create such an inferno and have it burn for so many hours.

    Are we sure other closed buildings are safe, or are there more potential fires waiting to erupt in our city?

    Thankfully, nobody got injured, as far as what I have heard.

  5. What businesses or buildings are affected so far? Is this the new condo project?

  6. This is a horrible tragedy, yet again instigated by the out of control youth of this city. I truly hope that they are found and punished for this crime. And I hope the parents are held responsible as well. We have to send a message that the people in this city are sick and tired of the hoodlums on the streets, and we are not going to take it anymore.

    To Mr Lister, I totally agree. I would think there would be quite a bit stored in this empty building, as well as all the old, dry hardwoods present. I certainly hope it does not reach Source Wood Products, as I am sure the chemicals they have may be quite hazardous.

  7. Author

    Hi Folks. We have no details yet. We don’t know who started it or where officially. Speculation isn’t always a good thing. It may not have anything to do with any “youth”.

  8. I was one of those people hosing down my appartment, the sparks where like the size of baseballs.I got scared and went to my sisters for the night with my daughts two dogs and one cat..The fire lite up the whole street and we could feel the heat..Not a nice site.

  9. for one thing there was businesses in there for one being my old job source would products which was filled with 1000’s of dollars in hardwood flooring and also other kinds of lumber the other businesses were the radio station and some other stuff

  10. To assume it was caused by youths is sad. An adult can easily set ablaze in order to claim insurance money. To assume is to make an “ass (out of) u (and) me”.

    It is sad to see a piece of Cornwall history go up in smoke like that.

  11. it is just sad to see history go down in flames…i think of all the people who made history working there or other memories all go into flames, it will be very disturbing to them to watch it go….very sad night for Cornwall history.

  12. and lalonde pluming lost 1000s of tubs and stuff

  13. is it still going bad?

  14. yes from what i was told

  15. i was down there watching and the fire hadn’t caught source woods at all yet, nor the radio station.. Firefighters were spraying as much as they could to contain the fire and stop it from catching the other parts of the buildings. i don’t think the fire will reach the radio station etc.

    with the way people think in this town im surprised no one has blamed it on smugglers yet.

    and people assuming that its cornwall youths. adults can just as easy set fire. i’ve seen many do it for insurance purposes.

  16. Impressed you picked this up so fast. Very sad to see history in flames. Thoughts are with the firefighters, those who work there and those living in the neighborhood.

  17. It doesn’t even have to have been purposely “set” by anyone, young or old, there are many other reasons that could be behind it. Praying no one gets hurt.

  18. i simply would like to mention again what tragic hit to cornwalls history. i myself agree with Mr. Lister as well that there is definately some questions to be raised from the most rescent fires in the city, also Mr Vanderwoode whether this fire was started by some of cornwalls yourth or not i beleive strongly if it is so that maybe we should start looking at the children’s aid society as far as discipline. i beleive parents hands are tied by some of the rules and regulations. when i was a child we did not see these types of things happen very often. if in fact it was induced by an adult then he/she should get whatever is coming to them as far as punishement, enough with the nonsense in cornwall already!!!

  19. This is a perfect example why, the curfew should be put back in effect.

  20. Author

    No it’s not; at least not yet.

  21. Youth or not… its not the point! History has been destroyed.. lets hope it doesn’t spread to homes.

    Lay off the youth… could have been an accident.. no one knows what happened. Have faith in the youth!!!

    We all have something more to be thankful for now.. Hold your loved ones close!

  22. I may have jumped the gun on blaming the youths, but in all fairness, the person who called the fire department did say she saw a group of youths running from the building just before flames were visible. And Alain B, CAS would do nothing but place these youths in a new home, which does not rectify the problem that legal consequences would. Admin, good call on not wanting to place blame anywhere, no need to spread rumors. I’m sure we will find out the truth soon enough.
    Yes, adults can start fires too. Insurance fires are a great source of fraud. Either way, I certainly hope if this was arson, the person/people responsible are held accountable, for another piece of Cornwall’s great history is gone, and there is no way to rebuild that.

  23. Curfew? The fire was blazing around 8 or 9. A curfew would do nothing. Kids would still go out at night and they should have every right to be out. Just because some teens cause trouble, doesn’t mean they all do. No one knows yet who or what caused it.
    Funny how everyone quickly jumps to “hoodlums.” Fires can be started by anyone. Crimes aren’t committed just by teenagers and youth.

  24. Although I totally agree with the statement above about the C.A.S…I also have to agree that let’s just stop with the speculations and let the firemen do their jobs; hope nobody gets hurt in the process! For the record though, I did witness a bunch of youth sitting on top of some kind of black dumpster in front of the yellow police tape (where they were NOT supposed to be) and EMS had to come threaten to throw them off if they didn’t move…and they didn’t move too quickly to get off either. As a parent of teenagers…I don’t think Cornwall needs to bring back the curfew…I’ve instilled one in my house and my teens abide by it…it’s as simple as proper parenting and I don’t need to hit my kids! Now let’s lay off the youth!

  25. How do you know the caller saw youths running from the building…is this just hearsay?

  26. Author

    Exactly. There are a lot more good kids than bad kids. That’s a whole other story. I just spoke with the Cornwall police and nobody has been charged at this point.

  27. it’s alway’s the same in cornwall who is gonna get the blame….SMUGGLERS the cop’s here all they do is point there finger in the easiest direction instead of investigating and doin there job it is easier for them to point there finger.but there is alot of FRAUD out there too……..could you imagine the insurance claim on this historic building????millions i am sure so let’s not blame the youth only there are alot of adult’s to that do lot of stupid thing’s too….not just the youth but all i’m saying is R.I.P COTTON MILL 10/10/10 the east end is gonna be empty with you not here but the police,and r.c.m.p will like the open view of the water i am sure but let’s see what happens if the smugglers get the blame for the flame or if they r gonna actually do a investigation on this one……..HOPE NONE OF THE FIRE FIGHTERS OR AND OTHER RESIDENT SUFFER ANY LOSS OR INJURY FROM THE BLAZE

  28. and ya as far as i have heard the building was used to store food for the agape who know’s if that is true or not but i hope not because there is alot of people and families in cornwall that need that food well HOPE EVERYTHING GOES GOOD FOR THE FIRE FIGHTERS AND THE RESIDENTS NEAR BY……..and just to infome people the blaze is still in progress at this time

  29. so sad to see history go in flames….just to let everybody know the part thats in flames was not going to b condos it was to be torn down b4 winter………~The building was used during the Second World War to make uniforms for American Soldiers. Recently the building had suffered structural damage during the summer where a portion of a wall had caved in. The owner, Bill Kaneb of Cornwall Warehousing, had applied to the city for demolition permits to take down the building before the winter because it was felt the structure was unsafe. The internal sprinkler system for the building had been disconnected….sad just thinking about the memories people have there over all these years……..what’s happeneing to Cornwall???

  30. Blaming the youth of Cornwall just makes you sound like a grumpy old man looking to point the finger at the a group that your no longer relate to. Especially, when calling them the “out of control youth of this city” or “the hoodlums on the streets” Truth is it is your mentality that had the arcades removed from the Pitt st area in the 80s/90s (where children had a place to socialize in a City with little to nothing to offer the youths to keep them out of trouble) More on topicto this fire the Cotton Mill was being renovated into condos that weren’t selling all that well and kinda expensive, maybe, the developers figured they could get their money back from the insurance company. Very suspicious and just as likely as a random electrical fire or some bored hoodlum youths that some seem very eager to demonize.

  31. so sad to see all memories and history for many people be in flames….just to let everyone know that the part of the building in flames was not going into condos….is was being torn down as it was unsafe..if u looked at it u would see a portion of it was already caved in..the building was suppose to come down before the winter…..~rip cotton mill~

  32. I took a ride tonight along the water and i found debris from the fire all the way down to Gray’s Creek. I did not continue any farther but it was quite numerous so I imagine some has made its way possibly down to almost Summerstown. Its a shame to see it go. Funny how the obstruction of waterview for the brand new condos in progress is suddenly gone. In all fairness it was a pretty spectacular sight to see and feel the power of that big of a blaze.

  33. Need to clarify something in my statement above…it wasn’t an EMS, it was a cop telling the teens to get off, they weren’t very quick to listen.

  34. just wondering how to go about posting some pics on here, have some wouldn’t mind sharing.

    as far as i’m concerned, maybe kids,maybe not,responsible…also a good cover story perhaps too,but deliberately set?,of course not! they will say…nudge,nudge…wink,wink….look at the money they’ll save in demolishing it through manpower,let a fire do most of the heavy lifting,so to speak…or am i just being a conspiracy theorist? ….me thinks not….however opinions will vary.

  35. i lived in Cornwall in the 50’s worked the papermill as an oiler keep the wheels a turning ,before modern machinery all the equipment was powered by line shafts belts and pulleys with nothing but plain bearings that require a good soaking of oil and it got everywhere especially into to wood .There was another cottonmill fire early 1960’s on the southside of the canal along water steet there was considerable heat damage on the north side as i recall it to was oil soaked .

  36. An extremely regrettable incident occurred on the evening of Sunday, October 10, 2010. At around 6:30 p.m., “Building One” of the Cotton Mill Complex caught fire. While the damage is extensive I trust everyone will join us in expressing our relief that no-one was injured.

    The building was scheduled for demolition the first of November and was completely decommissioned. All services had been disconnected, and everything mobile removed from the building. We would like to assure our neighbours that nothing hazardous or of a chemical nature was stored in the building.

    It is regrettable that such an important part of Cornwall’s history has been destroyed. One of our goals when developing the Cotton Mill Complex was to retain as much of the original buildings as possible, lamentably this is no longer an option. The original building was post and beam wood framing consisting of beautiful Douglas Fir beams and columns which we had hoped to salvage and reuse. Many of the unique architectural features we recently reviewed with our consultants have unfortunately been lost. However it is our belief that the cut stones used in the perimeter foundation and some of the brick shell can be salvaged.

    Thanks to the brave men and women of the Cornwall Fire Department and the Cornwall Police Department. Their efforts are greatly appreciated. We also wish to take this opportunity to thank Demo Plus. Demo Plus had equipment on-site to facilitate demolition at the Cotton Mill Lofts construction site and was able to demolish the catwalks connecting the two buildings. It is likely the weave shed would have suffered substantial damage had these three parties not reacted with alacrity and diligence to this emergency.

    Pursuant to the above letter I would like to take a moment to address some of the posts above.
    -While it is possible that the fire was started purposely, I trust we can await the official news from the Fire Department before jumping to conclusions.
    -There were no chemical, flammable, hazardous, or otherwise dangerous material stored in the building. The fire burned so intense because the building was wood framed, wood that had 100+ years to dry out.
    -I’m not even going to legitimize the comments that infer this was an insurance thing… it wouldn’t be worth it anyway.
    – The value of demolition is not $1.5m. That is the value of the CIP. I trust if your truly interested you’d do your research on the structure of the CIP. The brownfield and Heart of the City programs are based upon increases in taxes over the existing tax amount.. in other words if the occupancy of the area doesn’t go up, there is no cash for the developer.
    -It is disappointing that the Source suffered water damage. The poster above that indicated this may be a “move” to displace the tenant is sorely mistaken. We have nothing but the utmost respect for any businesses we work with.

    And again, thanks to our uniformed emergency crews. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

  37. funny how fast people speculate. I know the person that called the fire in and they did not say mention anything about a group of kids running from the building.

    And curfew? this all started before 8pm. You put a curfew in affect for kids before 8pm and your just asking for stuff to be vandalized by pissed off kids/teens.

  38. As of 2:30 the fire is still burning strong and seems to be gaining strength. So sad to see a part of Cornwall’s history go up in flames. Excellent job by all the firefighters battling that blaze, and it’s cold out there!!!

  39. We used to use these buildings for storage of clothing for the Salvation Army and for Agape that we took in for donations and stored them there.Seems that old buildings are going up in smoke. In all the years I lived in Cornwall I don’t ever remember seeing the ammount of fires that have been in 2010 in Cornwal..l

  40. People need to stop jumping to conclusions.
    Glad to hear that they demolished the bridges to the connecting buildings. Sucks they stuffered water damage though.

  41. It’s sad to see the history and memories go up in flames. If it was so important of a building why was nothing done years ago to restore it. It sat on a chunk of prime real estate . What was that old building doing for the city? Just yet another eye sore ! Move on and forward!

  42. It is a shame to see, I hope Source will be able to open somewhere soon. It was the best place in Cornwall for Kraftsmanship. Hopfully nobody lost lives nor property. Thanx to all EMT teams!

    Does Kaneb still recieve the tax break from the city?

  43. I wonder how the heell it happened?????????? It was shocking!!! How the building went up so fast!!!! I wonder if it had anything to do with a bunch of teens???? That sucks! Part of Cornwalls history is gone!

  44. Okay so everyone thats saying this a “youth” or teen act i take great offensive to that.. I am a teen myself. Yes we do have troubled kids in our community like anyother city or town, but this may very well be an adult that could of done this? ever think of that? Or even a spook accident.. no one should assume anything until this is investigated.. it is sad to thinking most of the responsible adults point fingers at us teens..

  45. Thanks to Adam McGrath for stepping up and setting the record straight for all of the conspiracy theorists.
    Barstool Prophets used to rehearse in that portion of the cotton mills years ago, and we were CONSTANTLY warned not to smoke in the building because the beams and floorboards were so old and dry.
    To suggest that ANYONE involved in the revamp of this beautiful old building would want to set fire to and destroy many of the architectual features that would make the post-reno units SO desirable ultimately is absurd. (Just take a walk into the Corus/Weave Shed side of the site and you’ll see how much of a visual impact those old beams and floorboards make to the finished product)
    The tongue-wagging, amateur conspiracy-theorists in this town need to simmer down.
    I’m very grateful no one was injured. This could have been SO much worse… and THAT is a fact.

  46. MIserable people in this town, I tell ya! Always Quick to jump down ones throat or argue with someone over nothing. If you don’t agree with what someones saying in their posts, scroll down and read the next one and then if you have your “OWN” say/speculation of what happened then share it with us WITHOUT degrading what others have to say! who cares if someone thinks youths started it, or if another thinks it was insurance purposes.. think what you want, doesn’t mean it’s the truth! people are aloud to write and think what they want, so shut up and give us your own oppinion instead of instantly bashing and slandering someones post because you don’t like what they have to say!! miserable miserable miserable people!!!

  47. Author

    Frankly I’ve been impressed by the youth of Cornwall. Our crime rate isn’t like other big cities in Canada. We don’t have to live with bars on our doors like Hamsters compared to when I lived in Los Angeles or stay with Family in Los Vegas.

    People don’t appreciate how amazing Cornwall is. Yes every place can be better, but how many cities can you get just about anywhere at any time of the day in less than 10 minutes?

    I would bet money in the end that this fire had nothing to do with kids.

  48. Where can I find a summary of all of the buildings that have caught fire in the last year or two?

  49. The cotton mill was going to be made into condos , it was announced earlier this year.

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