WITH PHOTOS: Heritage building damaged by fire in Petrolia

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Heather Wright Photo

One of Petrolia’s heritage buildings has been damaged by fire.

What the extent of the damage is at the Little Red Bank at the top of the hill on Petrolia Line is unknown right now.

Before noon Sunday, firefighters were called to the building after passers by saw smoke and flames coming from the eaves of the building.

The intersection of Petrolia Line and Tank Street was blocked as firefighters worked to put out the flames. At noon, firefighters could be seen with heat sensors, trying to find any hotspots left in the building.

A hole was cut in the roof of the cedar shake building near the chimney.

The bank has an Ontario Heritage designation. The building, the home to the Vaughn and Fairbank Bank, opened August 10th 1869 in Oil Springs. It was moved to Petrolia when the oil industry began to boom in the town. It was the only bank in Petrolia for several years at the start of the oil boom. It also, reputably, became the world’s first oil exchange.

Vaughan and Fairbank operated as a private bank until 1924 when the remaining accounts moved over to the Bank of Toronto. The building is still owned by the Fairbank family and houses the law office of local solicitor Wally Lang.