A fire tore through Salt Spring Island’s Windsor Plywood location early Tuesday morning, leaving it all but destroyed.
The fire was reported at about 2 a.m. by TLC Security personnel at the 166 Rainbow Rd. location.
Video from a few hours later shows firefighters continuing to hose down the smoking, flaming building.
“I got a call at 3:15 [from store co-owner Mike Stefancsik and], was down here at about 3:40 and it was pretty ugly,” Windsor co-owner Ken Marr told the Gulf Islands Driftwood.
Marr said firefighters were initially working hard to save the east end of the building.
“Mike and I were using the forklifts to try to get as much stuff away from the fire as we could, and then [the firefighters] called it and said, ‘No, you guys get away.’”
He said Windsor’s number-one focus right now is to look after their professional customers.
“We have 55 families that rely on us for payment directly, but we have probably about 700 professionals that are relying on us to put bread on the table, so that’s our focus right now.”
Marr said they will get up and running as best they can at their Beddis Road site.
At 8 a.m., smoke was still coming from the site and residents were reporting poor air quality and smoke lingering over the Ganges area and harbour as a result.
The fire has also impacted North Salt Spring Waterworks District customers.
“Due to the catastrophic fire in Ganges Village and the extreme fire flow required to combat the blaze, some valving was damaged,” stated an alert on its website.
Crews are working on emergency repairs.
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