A man and woman from Toronto are in police custody, charged in connection with a fire last December that destroyed historical buildings in the downtown core of Barrie, Ont.

Police concluded the fire at Riviera Pizza and Pasta House on 4 Dunlop Street West was started with the use of an accelerant.

The fire quickly spread, destroying four businesses, several apartments and ravaging a landmark hotel. Several establishments in the area reported heavy smoke and water damage to their properties.

An investigator with the Barrie police told the Toronto Star the couple were business partners and that both had interests in the Riviera.

He said the two were brought in for questioning and were arrested at that time.

Both suspects live in separate Toronto homes but were taken into custody in Barrie.

Damages from the Dec. 6 fire were estimated to be in the millions. No one was injured but several pets died in the fire.

John (Giovanni) Cartolano, 62, has been charged with arson endangering life, obstructing justice and fraud.

Laverne Williams, 40, has been charged with obstructing justice and fraud.