A blow to the community of Colborne after a fire has heavily damaged the only grocery store in town.
At approximately 5 a.m. Cramahe Township Fire Department responded to a structure fire at Foodland on Toronto Road (County Road 2) in Colborne after receiving 9-1-1 calls.
Cramahe Township Fire Chief Mark MacDonald said when crews arrived on scene there was heavy smoke coming from the building that also had two other businesses, Century Cycle and Johnston Motors.
Brighton Fire Department responded with manpower along with Cobourg Fire Department and their platform truck for aerial operations.
As crews were extinguishing the fire in several areas of the building, the owner of Century Cycle assisted by firefighters removed several of the bicycles/e-bikes that were inside the building that wasn’t heavily effected by the fire.
Once the main source of the fire was knocked down, MacDonald said fire crews were, “basically chasing hot spots.”
“It’s a fairly large building and of course being a grocery store with cabinets, coolers and shelving it’s quite a maze in there.”
“With these commercial type buildings, there was some fire extension that got up into the ceiling area. That is one of the hardest things for us to chase in commercial style buildings that have high ceilings to begin with, and then have a suspended ceiling and then of course the actual roof.”
The Cobourg Fire Department using their platform truck cut a hole in the roof to let the heat and smoke out that was permeating throughout the building.
There is “extensive” smoke and head damage throughout Foodland.
“This is a significant event for Cramahe Township and the village of Colborne.”
Employees wearing Foodland work shirts, along with the owners of all three businesses and Cramahe Township Mandy Martin could only stand by and watch as firefighters entered the smoke filled building to tackle the flames.
One elderly woman stood on the sidewalk crying wondering how she would now get her groceries.
Speaking to Today’s Northumberland, owner of Foodland, John Foley said he received a call from an employee that the building was on fire.
As he was coming into Colborne on County Road 2, Foley could see the smoke from the fire in the distance.
“It doesn’t look good.”
The store employees approximately 40 full-time and part-time employees.
“We want to figure out this fast and see what we can do to get rolling.”
Foley realizes the store is a “life-line” for the community.
“When you lose something like this in a small community it’s not good.”
The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office has been called in to investigate the cause of the fire.