Two local businesses were decimated late Saturday night after a blaze that began around 9:30 p.m. erupted, savagely destroying Canyon Carpets and three residential apartments within the structure on Wallace Street, before moving onto neighbouring business Jay’s Appliance and Repair.
“The town has been awesome — the response has been overwhelming,” said Canyon Carpet business owner Suzy Shaw, on the emotional journey of her and her husband Jim.
It would have been the 25th anniversary of the store’s grand opening on June 1st, according to the Shaw’s who demonstrated a level of stoicism in the face of their devastating loss.
“People have shown overwhelming support. There are not enough good things that I can say about the support that people have shown us — we’ve been offered buildings,” she said.
Safety was the primary concern for the Shaw’s who worried for the tenants in the three apartments in the building and their neighbour Jay Thomm from Jay’s Appliance.
“We lost a lot of personal things in the fire, but we’re moving forward and we’re going to keep positive — we’ve got a lot of customers,” said Shaw. “Jim and I would like to thank everybody involved.”
Any contributions for the recovery of the fire will be channeled toward the care of the tenants who lost their homes and for Jay Thomm at the request of the Shaw’s.
The united efforts of over twenty volunteer firefighters in an amalgamation of Hope and Yale firefighting crews and with limited resources, were able to subdue further damage to nearby structures that crews were able to protect from the blaze.
“The cause will likely go undetermined, it’s not suspicious,” said Fire Chief Tom DeSorcy from the District of Hope.
“We arrived on the scene and decided it was dangerous and went on the defensive posture.”
There was a large fuel load with paints and carpeting which is petroleum based according to DeSorcy. The combination helped fuel the fire and escalate the speed and intensity of the blaze.
“My team reacted — they’re the best and they did an excellent job,” said DeSorcy of the heroic efforts of the volunteer fire department.
No one was injured in the fire and the cause remains undisclosed.
“It’s sad to see the loss of two buildings in our community that housed two active businesses and three residential apartments,” said Mayor Wilfried Vicktor.
A crew was still on site Sunday morning and throughout the day to oversee remaining hotspots.
“Thoughts and prayers go out to those involved and a special thanks to the fire personnel who worked tirelessly to contain the blaze to the smallest area possible,” said Vicktor.
Canyon Carpets re-opened Wednesday June, 3rd and is currently operating out of 326 Wallace Street next to the Blue Moose from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A special thanks goes out to Wes Bergman for his help with the facilitation of the temporary location. Supplies and samples should all be available by the weekend.
“Thanks to everyone for your support,” the Shaw’s told The Hope Standard.