Several police vehicles were damaged.
Holy smokes! On Sunday evening, a massive fire erupted at a Durham Regional Police (DRP) building in Courtice, lighting up Highway 401 and closing lanes. Police said that several service vehicles were damaged due to the blaze.
Just before 7 p.m. on Sunday, the Ontario Provincial Policetweeted that there was a road closure on Highway 401 in "both directions between exit 419 Harmony Rd/County Rd 33 and #Hwy418," which was "due to a structure fire."
\u201cMassive fire along the highway 401 westbound. @AM980News @1010traffic\u201d— Ryaninabox \ud83c\udde8\ud83c\udde6 (@Ryaninabox \ud83c\udde8\ud83c\udde6) 1658096694
It added that "Hwy418 southbound is closed between Regional Hwy 2 and Hwy401."
Dark plumes of smoke could be seen billowing from the highway "a long way off," according to drivers who shared photos and videos on Twitter.
\u201cMassive smoke plume and fire just west of #418 off the #401 near Oshawa. Police have closed the highway westbound. Not sure what\u2019s on fire but it\u2019s visible from a long way off. #fire\u201d— Gill Livingston (@Gill Livingston) 1658098085
DRP told Narcity that an alarm call came in around 6:07 p.m. The blaze took off at one of the police service's buildings at 19 Courtice Court, although authorities hadn't yet identified the cause of the fire.
At 6:38 p.m., Durham police tweeted that the fire was still active at the Courtice Court building and that crews were on scene.
\u201cMassive smoke plume/fire between Bowmanville & Oshawa. 401 westbound, being diverted off the highway #fire #bowmanville #oshawa\u201d— Catherine Parry (@Catherine Parry) 1658097883
"We do know from being able to look from the outside that we lost a couple of police cars," constable Joanne Bortoluss told Narcity.
Bortoluss added that all the vehicles in the police building, such as a canine unit vehicle and a ride truck, would likely have been damaged. "They're all gone," they said.
By 7:50 p.m., OPP and Durham police tweeted that most highway exits, including 401 exits at Harmony Road to Courtice Road, and the 418 exits at Highway 2 and Highway 401, were reopened. So, thankfully, you don't have to worry about delays in your commute.
However, police said they're still looking into the fire and its possible cause.