A fire in a vacant heritage building shut down a section of Holland Street in Bradford West Gwillimbury Saturday morning.
Flames were visible through the roof when firefighters arrived shortly before 5 a.m.
Firefighters took a defensive attack on the structure fire at 72 and 74 Holland St. E., quickly knocking down the fire.
Holland was closed between the Four Corners and Colborne Street. The closure is expected to remain in effect for most of the day, and motorists are advised to avoid the area, according to Sue Sgambati, corporate communications specialist for South Simcoe Police.
Heavy construction equipment was brought in around 11 a.m.
"We're going to be pulling down the front of the building, and the walls. We're still dealing with hot spots... It's a safety issue," said BWG Fire Chief Kevin Gallant.
Before tearing down the shell of the structure, firefighters planned to search the ruins to look for possible victims, although the building was vacant at the time of the fire.
The building, which is on the heritage registry but not designated, was formerly a duplex undergoing renovations, for a planned commercial use. Renovations had been halted for some time.
Gallant declined to speculate on a cause.
"At this time, it's still under investigation," he said.
The cost of damages has not yet been confirmed, but the building was completely gutted.
BradfordToday will have more information as it becomes available.
With files from Jenni Dunning
Thank you! pic.twitter.com/vpolOkcWAK— kay (@keirrrs) February 9, 2019