Ezra Avenue fire

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A 17-year-old male was charged with arson, property damage and mischief under $5,000 after being arrested Monday September 10.

Exactly one week earlier, Ezra Avenue was flooded with hundreds of students for what was initially meant to be another unsanctioned Fresh Week street party. 

At around 10 p.m., Waterloo Regional Police, Waterloo Fire Department, Region of Waterloo Paramedics, and Wilfrid Laurier University Special Constables rushed to the site after receiving reports of a furniture being set on fire on the street. 

An online video of the incident has gone viral, showing a large crowd had gathered around the fire while some took turns running through the enormous blaze. 

David McMurray, vice-president of student affairs at WLU, stated the University can’t be certain if all the people at the party were students, but Ezra’s history as a party spot and its proximity to WLU means most of them likely were. 

On Tuesday, officials with WLU released a statement condemning the gathering. 

The statement said the events damage WLU’s reputation and are dangerous. 

It also warns students that it will review the behaviour of anyone accused of breaking the law and will apply sanctions under the Non-Academic Student Code of Conduct. 

WLU will continue to work with a task force on combating street parties and is presenting its report and recommendations to the Waterloo City council next week. 

The teen who was arrested Monday is due to appear in court on October 21. Police alledge furniture was used to set the fire.