Hamilton firefighters responded on Tuesday evening to two suspected structural fires within minutes of each other on James Street North near downtown.
The Hamilton Fire Department said in a tweet that the teams were called at 161 James N. Street just before 7 p.m. for a structural fire with multiple alarms in a three-story building.
“On arrival, the crews found a fire well involved in the company’s stairwell,” said deputy chief Dan Milovanovic.
The first floor of the building houses La Bichette, a lifestyle boutique for women.
Milovanovic said thick smoke was coming from the second and third floors of the building. It was quickly watered.
A few minutes later, the crews responded to the call of a second suspicious fire at the corner of James and Robert streets, where a fire broke out on the covered terrace of the Born and Raised restaurant.
The restaurant owner discovered the fire and sprinkled it with a hose as the crew responded.
This is the third time in two days that the ministry has intervened in the region to fight suspicious fires.
On Monday, teams extinguished a pair of flames in two adjacent vacant homes on Wilson Street between East Avenue North and Emerald Street North.
Milovanovic said the three fires are still under investigation, the two Tuesday being considered suspect. He said the Ontario Fire Marshal and Hamilton police are investigating.
Get the most out of the specifications in your inbox
Never miss the latest news from the Spec. Subscribe to our email newsletters to get the best articles of the day, your favorite columnists and more in your inbox.