Fire Damage to 93 Albert Required it to be Demolished

On Friday July 15, there were two fires in Cobourg in houses up for sale (see reports by Today’s Northumberland in Resources below).  One was at 93 Albert whose owners were recently before Council asking for permission to demolish.  Staff had recommended demolition but some councillors (led by Emily Chorley and Nicole Beatty) felt that the building should be preserved for its heritage value and that it was simply a matter that it was not economic. The building had been abandoned since 2000 so it was described as being demolished by neglect – but Emily and Nicole were determined that the owners would not get away with this (even though the current owners only recently acquired the property). Mayor John Henderson and Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin supported Emily and Nicole and a demolition permit was denied.  The owners then promptly listed the building for sale at $499,000.

93 Albert Demolished
93 Albert Demolished

Given this background, Friday’s fire looks suspicious and was being investigated by Cobourg Police and the Fire Marshal and the building was fenced off.  All that was left was the front brick wall and that started to lean. So on Saturday, Blake Construction Services were called in to demolish the building and cart off the remains.  Police and the Town closed that section of Albert Street while this was done.

To state the obvious, the owners no longer need a demolition permit so I’d guess they’ll take the Real Estate listing off the market.

See the articles in the resources below for more background.

Resources

Earlier Posts on 93 Albert

News reports by Today’s Northumberland

Other

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Rob
20 July 2022 9:25 am

Has there been an update on the status of the investigation into these suspicious fires?

concerned
Reply to  Rob
20 July 2022 10:32 am

Give them some time to actually investigate the fire and cause good lord. It’s only been five days.

Rob
Reply to  concerned
20 July 2022 4:14 pm

Pump the brakes Concerned…haha….I said update, I didn’t say conclusion….

Pete M
20 July 2022 7:38 am

May something even better rise out of the ashes of the old and dilapidated.

Pete M
Reply to  Pete M
21 July 2022 8:09 am

Now that old has been cleared out, maybe a multi unit dwelling given the the dire need for housing

New to Cobourg
17 July 2022 9:32 pm

The original permit to demolish was turned down because this ‘dump’ was deemed to be heritage. While I am not in favour of taking down truly heritage buildings I think Council need to give themselves a shake. Or maybe we need to give them a shake come election time.

MiriamM
Reply to  New to Cobourg
17 July 2022 10:03 pm

https://www.thisoldhouse.com/21018579/31-scary-houses-turned-into-spectacular-homes

From article link above: “Saving an old house is no small feat. Just ask any of these homeowners, all DIYers who lived to tell the tale. From fire-damaged to foreclosures and everything in between, get inspired by these unbelievable makeovers that’ll either give you the restoration bug—or make you really happy your renovation is over.”

And, what constitutes a truly heritage building? Modest structures also part of the community’s story, its history, and deserve consideration.

Sandpiper
Reply to  New to Cobourg
18 July 2022 9:02 am

So why was the Old home on the south west corner of Durham and Sydenham
among all those old Heritage homes and Museum be allowed to be replaced by a Modrin BOX
No one will answer to that one or explain why the Architecture is not conducive to the
rest of the neighbourhood . At least Albert st is commercial in nature

JimT
Reply to  Sandpiper
19 July 2022 9:53 am

There never was an “Old Home” on that corner. It was always just a vacant lot as far back as I can remember – which means the late 1940s.

They should have left it that way, my personal opinion.

Last edited 1 month ago by JimT
Gerald Childs
Reply to  Sandpiper
19 July 2022 10:39 am

That is a new build on existing land. No houses were taken away. It was either an empty lot or a large lot that was split.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  New to Cobourg
12 August 2022 10:17 pm

New to Cobourg

The issue faced by Council was whether to let an owner get away with “demolition-by-neglect”. Not an easy one in this case. “Adaptive reuse” could have been the answer here had the owner been responsible and tied a reuse of the existing 93 Albert to a development of the very large deep lot it sits on.

i’m sure Council would have granted certain exemptions to make a more economically efficient use of the site possible.

What folks should be demanding of Council now, and getting their individual reaction prior to the October election, is action to stop the demolition-by-neglect of Sidbrook (on south side of King East just east of Abbot) and Strathmore Hall, the grand white American home across King on the Brookside property.

Why the local Architectural Conservancy group is not taking the lead in this I do not understand..

Last edited 6 days ago by Keith Oliver
marya
17 July 2022 11:49 am

The land surrounding 93 Albert Street, including the grounds of the King George Inn, either unknown or ignored about the latter, have for many years be well-known to transients to squat six months of the year. It would be interesting to learn the results of the Fire Marshal’s investigation. Who would be responsible for the damage to the homes on the east and on the west side of 93 Albert Street? Although the homes were damaged and 93 Albert Street was destroyed, the flora around the house appears to be mostly intact which might suggest that the source of the fire was from within, yet what do I know?!

Sandpiper
Reply to  marya
18 July 2022 8:52 am

I understand that this property on Albert and the one on Ontario have been
inundated with Break ins and the Police have been called in many times to
remove the Squatters and dare I use the word Homeless people .

Old Sailor
17 July 2022 11:18 am

Wondering who paid for the removal of debris at 93 Albert Street and the supervision of the area by Cobourg Police Service. If the Town paid for it, is the cost recoverable as a charge on the property?

Kevin
Reply to  Old Sailor
17 July 2022 4:12 pm

Good question Old Sailor. My unknowledgeable guess is the police are being paid anyway and there will not be any compensation. The private company will be paid for debris removal likely by the insurance company assuming the owner has insurance. Insurance companies do not like to pay out money. They will try to recover any costs by going after the person responsible for starting the fire if there was any foul play. The chances of 3 unoccupied properties accidently catching fire in one night are very small. With the Albert street fire there is significant damage to the building to the East. Hopefully the investigations will result in what actually happened. If there was an accidental fire at an occupied house on the same night fire fighters may not have arrived in time to save lives. Regardless of how the fires started this was an extremely serious situation.

Concerned Taxpayer
17 July 2022 8:56 am

This fire seems very convenient and the building was going to be demolished one way or another to make way for a new build. Can’t help but state the obvious.

cornbread
17 July 2022 8:52 am

Emily & Nicole…are they really needed on Council…Perhaps the title of a new movie?

Marie
Reply to  cornbread
17 July 2022 9:33 am

… its indicative of how council members view other people’s money…

greengrass
17 July 2022 8:13 am

Wow, now the old Sidbrook?

AMC
Reply to  greengrass
21 July 2022 8:45 am

I am shocked Sidbrook hasn’t gone the same way.