When I was waken by the sound of a huge crashing sound this morning around 6:30am, I could not go back to sleep. Then fifteen minutes later I could smell burning plastic and wood, the smell of a house fire. I dressed and rushed outside to see where the smoke was coming from. My home was covered with ashes and the smoke was all around me at ground level. There was no doubt that a fire was near by. I looked towards downtown, and sure enough, the red and orange glow from the fire illuminated the smoke above.
News trucks were already lining up and down my street, and police cars were patrolling right in front of my place. So I started walking towards the intersection of Glover Road and Mavis Avenue. I as turned onto Mavis, there was the fire. The IGA building was fully engulfed in fire, and firefighters were lined up around it trying to put it out with their fire hoses.
The devastation was horrific. By the time I got there, the fire was only less than a couple of hours old. The entire roof was gone, parts of the walls fell along the West side of the building and were laying on the sidewalk. Not one square metre of floor space had been spared.
I will miss the building. But most of all, I will miss the wonderful employees and managers who worked there. I talked to Peter (part owner) who stood there the whole time since he arrived when he got the call from the alarm company. He was quiet and calm, but I could sense the shock and disbelief in his eyes. I also talked to some of the other employees too who stood with Peter. I felt out of place and had to leave them so that they could deal with this tragedy on their own. Peter was optimistic in that he told me to keep shopping with them at their other locations and wait while they rebuild. I told him that I would.
ADDED Jan 5 2011: The slide show of shots I took of the fire.
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If you want to see all of the images in 800 x 600 px resolution, please click on the link in the side bar to the right where is says “Pages,” then click on the link for a list of all of my photo galleries. There are 56 images in total in this set.