Encouraging signs for residents, business owners affected by fire

By on April 9, 2018
Smoke poured onto a crowd of onlookers on Garcia Street as firefighters responded to a blaze in a residential suite. (Cole Wagner/Herald).


Merritt’s fire chief is hopeful that at least some of the residents affected by Friday’s fire in a suite above Mongos Mongolian Grill will be able to return to their homes this week.

Eight people were displaced by the fire, which ignited around 1:15 p.m. on the second floor of the mixed commercial-residential building at the corner of Nicola Avenue and Garcia Street, said Dave Tomkinson, Merritt’s fire chief. Half of the residents should be able to return to their homes in the coming days, as fire damage was isolated to one side of the building, he added.

“On the far end, we’re just working with the building owner and their electrician to try and get a couple of the residential suites and the other two businesses up and running, because right now there is no power to the building,” explained Tomkinson. “So they are working to isolate the suite and the restaurant to try and get the building occupied again.”

(Cole Wagner/Herald).

Along with the Mongolian grill, Akasa Yoga Studio and Mellah Leuca Day Spa occupy the ground floor of the building. While the restaurant incurred water damage and will be under repairs for the foreseeable future, the other businesses should be back in operation within the week, said Tomkinson.

At the height of the fire, 17 firefighters were battling the blaze, said Tomkinson. Nobody was hurt, though first responders did rescue a rabbit from the second floor of the building. A cat remains missing in the aftermath of the blaze.

The cause of the fire remains unknown, though Merritt Fire Rescue is scheduled to conduct an investigation on April 11. Tomkinson noted that the residence was occupied when the fire ignited, and that there were working smoke alarms in the suite.

(Cole Wagner/Herald).

(Cole Wagner/Herald).


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