Early Morning Blaze in Cranbrook, BC
A fierce blaze has gutted four historic buildings in downtown Cranbrook.
Two people were rescued by fire fighters from the roof of one of the buildings before it was engulfed.
The fire started at around 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 24 at 806 Baker Street, next to Cranbrook Photo.
An RCMP officer on patrol noticed flames coming out of the rear of the building and called in the fire department.
“The police officers were not able to gain access to the building and were driven back by erupting flames, but they were successful in making enough noise to wake the only two known occupants of the building,” said Sgt. Laurie Jalbert of the Cranbrook/Kimberley RCMP.
“After verbal contact was made, the two occupants fled to the roof of an adjacent building where they were evacuated by the fire department.”
Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services believe the fire started on the second floor of the building. It quickly spread through a common attic area to the neighbouring buildings.
Four businesses were destroyed in the fire, including OJ's Antiques. The hard work of local fire fighters managed to minimize the loss to two nearby businesses, Cranbrook Photo and The Choice.
There was a vacant lot between the buildings that were ablaze and The Choice. At the other end of the block, Cranbrook Photo has a small break between its brick walls and the lost buildings.
“With our community having such a small (fire) department, staff worked all night and were able to safely rescue two individuals and minimize damage to both Cranbrook Photo and The Choice,” said Mayor Wayne Stetski.
The fire department will spend all day Tuesday on site mopping up the blaze. No cause has been determined yet, but an official investigation is just beginning.
Mike and I travelled into town ... and saw the devastation ... it will take awhile to clean up this site ... !!