Devastating fire reduces the Cedars to smouldering rubble

A once-stately building on the banks of the Thames River that was home to a boating club and several generations of a London family has been destroyed by fire.

Free Press staff An inspector from Ontario’s Fire Marshal Office sifted Sunday through the smouldering ruins of a once-stately building on the banks of the Thames River that was destroyed by a fire - writes lfpress.com

The wooden building with a double veranda known as The Cedars was home to a boating club and several generations of a London family. It has been vacant for the last five years.

The historic home overlooking the Thames Rivers caught fire Saturday night. Police closed Riverside Drive between Sanitorium and St. Anthony roads at about 9:30 p.m. as London firefighters battled the blaze that could be seen from Springbank Park.

The site was difficult for firefighters to access because the home was set among trees near the river.

No injuries were reported, and the cause remains under investigation.

Images of the fire that lit up the night sky were posted on social media, followed by laments when word spread about another loss of an abandoned historic building in London to fire.

“Sad to hear The Cedars . . . burned down last night. Would have loved to have seen it restored,” Jon Pilon said in a tweet.

“It’s not the first time a heritage property has been allowed to deteriorate, but it hopefully it will lead to some needed reforms into how the city responds to #demolitionbyneglect,” community activist Sam Trosow tweeted.

The site was difficult for firefighters to access because the home was set among trees near the river.

No injuries were reported, and the cause remains under investigation.

Images of the fire that lit up the night sky were posted on social media, followed by laments when word spread about another loss of an abandoned historic building in London to fire.

“Sad to hear The Cedars . . . burned down last night. Would have loved to have seen it restored,” Jon Pilon said in a tweet.

“It’s not the first time a heritage property has been allowed to deteriorate, but it hopefully it will lead to some needed reforms into how the city responds to #demolitionbyneglect,” community activist Sam Trosow tweeted.

Drewlo indicated it planned to preserve the Cedars as an amenity feature for future development, Menard said.

Lamb said the only investment the company appeared to make in the home was to install a security system.

“If you’re really serious about making it an amenity, fix it up,” he said. “I would be thrilled to see anybody take the bull by the horns and invest some money into it and restore it to the way it was when we left in 1978.”

Drewlo also faced criticism more than 10 years ago when a historic property it owned on Talbot Street called Locust Mount was damaged in a fire in November 2017 and had to be torn down.

The company had boarded up the home where former London mayor Elijah Leonard once lived but neighbours had complained for years that people were breaking in and setting fires.

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