Police and fire investigators are trying to determine if there is any connection between two early morning fires in Brampton.
A group of townhouses caught fire in a new subdivision off Mississauga Road north of Steeles Avenue, at about 4 a.m.
Two homes under construction were badly damaged in the fire.
A short time later a fire was reported in nearby St. Jerome's Catholic Church at 8530 Chinguacousy Rd.
Sprinklers inside the church put the fire out quickly. But firefighters found a suspicious package inside and asked for help from Peel Regional police who brought their bomb disposal unit to take a look.
Police at first suspected it might be a pipe bomb, but later told CBC News it was a fake, an empty shell that contined no explosive material.
A few hours after it was discovered, the device was removed from church and put in a special holding container. It was then taken to a gravel pit in Caledon where it was detonated.
The Archdiocese of Toronto issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon, advising that the Brampton church would be closed “for at least one week” as a result of the fire.
Parishioners are invited to attend other local Catholic churches while St. Jerome’s is closed.