Wellesley is looking for ways to recover its expenses following a drug-related fire at a duplex in the village last month.
Township firefighters spent a total of 273 man hours battling a blaze at 1020 Molesworth Rd. Dec. 9.
All three stations responded to the fire, which was reported shortly after 8 p.m. Wellesley station had 14 men at the blaze, some until 1 a.m. St Clements backed up the Wellesley station with 18 men and Linwood responded with 16.
Wellesley station also had four people assisting Waterloo Regional Police in investigating the suspicious blaze. That investigation is still ongoing.
Until charges are laid or insurance coverage determined, the township is left footing the bill for fighting the blaze.
Volunteer fire fighters are paid for the time they spend at a fire or accident, and any supplies used in fighting the fire, such as oxygen cylinders, will have to be refilled or replaced.
“We don’t at this point know whether there’ll be any compensation coming back to the municipality,” said township chief administrative officer Susan Duke. “It has to be a specific set of circumstances for the insurance companies to come forward with compensation.”
Duke said she can’t estimate the cost of battling the fire because she doesn’t yet have all the figures related to the man hours and the equipment used.
“We haven’t done the breakdown on who’s being paid what amount,” she said. “The district chiefs and captains are paid different rates. There’s a whole calculation that has to go into that, as well as the equipment.”
A 28-year old woman escaped the blaze and was taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. Two males were seen emerging the house with flames coming from their clothes. They rolled in the snow to extinguish the flames then fled, one on foot and the other in a dark-coloured pickup truck.
The investigation turned up five containers of marijuana and equipment used to extract hashish, hash resin or hash oil.
Police spokesperson Olaf Heinzel said at this point no arrests have been made and no charges laid.
“We’re still looking for any tips and any information that could help us. That’s still an ongoing investigation.”