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Workers begin demolition of Overbrook apartment building destroyed by alleged arsonist


An apartment building at 240 Presland Road in Overbrook that was damaged by an alleged arsonist in February is being demolished.

The 32-unit building was said to be damaged beyond repair and 53 people, including families and young children, were displaced.

The property is a non-profit housing structure owned by the Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC). In a statement on Wednesday, the housing corporation confirmed the building was being demolished and all former tenants have been re-homed.

"CCOC obtained a demolition permit from the City of Ottawa earlier this fall," said CCOC executive director Sarah Button in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

"Due to the poor condition of the remaining structure, it will likely take a number of days to complete the demolition safely."

CCOC added they are looking to redevelop the site as affordable housing, but said the plans are in the early stages.

Pamela Shillingford, 31, has been charged with arson to property, arson endangering life and attempted murder in relation to the fire.

The fire engulfed the building four-storey building on Feb. 21. The blaze broke out around 5:20 p.m. and quickly went from a two-alarm fire to a three-alarm fire as crews called in additional firefighters to help deal with the powerful flames.

Ottawa firefighters on scene of a fire on Presland Road. Feb. 21, 2023. (Scott Stilborn/Ottawa Fire Service)

Flames could be seen shooting out of the roof of the four-storey building and within an apartment on the top floor. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling the blaze and two adults were transported to hospital in stable condition.

The fire was declared under control just before 9 p.m. but the building was damaged beyond repair and residents were placed in temporary housing. 

With files from CTV News Ottawa's Josh Pringle and Ted Raymond Top Stories

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