NEWS

Fire engulfs 75 boats, antique cars at marina

12/20/2011 10:22 EST | Updated 02/19/2012 05:12 EST

A large storage facility that houses as many as 75 boats and several antique and collectible cars is burning at a marina near Sarnia, Ont.

The fire began around 7 a.m. ET in Port Lambton. At least three fire detachments responded to the call on Old River Road, just south of St. Clair Parkway.

Residents living near the property reported hearing explosions from inside or near the building.

"I heard a couple of pops but a friend of mine lives pretty well across the street there and he said that's what woke him up [Tuesday] morning was an explosion," said Mike Walton, who lives near the scene. "So, he looked out the window and he said the one door on the far end of the building was already gone."

By 10 a.m. flames had engulfed the entire structure and efforts to battle the blaze involved every available firefighter in St. Clair Township.

Police have already estimated the damage to be in the multimillion-dollar range due to the nature of the fire and its location.

Thick black smoke is billowing from the building on the shores of the St. Clair River and blowing across the water toward Michigan.

"Apparently, the fiberglass that's burning is causing some toxic fumes. We're asking people to stay clear of the area and to keep an eye on the smoke, to stay indoors and to stay out of the path of that because it could cause you respiratory or lung problems," Lambton OPP Const. Chrystal Jones said.

Police at the scene told CBC News they are not yet evacuating people from the area. However, officers have gone door to door to notify them they could be asked to leave at a moment's notice.

More to come

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