Following a suspicious blaze Dec. 9, police executed a search warrant for 1020 Molesworth St. in the village. There, investigators found and seized “five containers” of marijuana as well as items that are typically used in the marijuana extraction process, whereby chemicals and heat are applied to marijuana plant material for the purpose of converting it into hashish, hash resin or hash oil, said Waterloo Regional Police spokesperson Olaf Heinzel.
Police, who continue to investigate the matter in conjunction with the Fire Marshall’s Office, have yet to determine the cause of the fire and whether those tools may have played a role.
Investigators also continue to search for two individuals who were seen fleeing the scene shortly after the fire broke out. Two men emerged from the Molesworth Street duplex at the onset of the fire, both with flames coming from their clothing. They extinguished those fires by rolling around in the snow and then fled the scene, one suspect in a dark-coloured pickup truck, the other on foot.
“What we have is two individuals who were seen leaving the house at the time of the fire; we’ve not connected them to the fire, we are just interested in them for two reasons: one is because there is a potential they were injured … we want to check on their well being; secondly they’re potentially witnesses to the fire since they could have been there in the house at the time,” said Heinzel.
Firefighters from all three Wellesley Township stations arrived on scene at approximately 8:20 p.m., finding a 28-year-old woman who managed to escape the blaze. She was taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.
Emergency personnel were told that other occupants were still inside the building. They conducted two searches but found no one; they did, however, rescue two pets. It appears two other cats, however, perished in the blaze. Damage to the structure was pegged at $200,000.
The two men seen leaving the scene may have been there at the time. It appears they were not residents of the duplex.
Wellesley, St. Clements and Linwood stations were all called in when the structure fire was confirmed, and battled the fire for up to five hours.
Fire reached into the attic, making it difficult for firefighters to extinguish it quickly.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Division 1 detective office at (519) 650-8500, ext. 4438, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.