Fire guts east-end warehouse

Fort Frances firefighters spent New Year’s Eve battling a stubborn warehouse blaze at 815 Williams Ave.
Police and fire crews responded to the scene around 6:40 p.m. Monday to find the back of the building already engulfed in flames.
“The back half of the building was completely gutted,” said Fort Frances Fire Chief Steve Richardson.
“In the front half of the building, the fire did burn through the attic and cause the roof to collapse so it was destroyed that way,” he noted.
“There was some fire damage, heat, and smoke to the front of the building,” he added.
The building, formerly known as Daisy Fresh Cleaners, currently was being used to store household materials. Chief Richardson said damage was estimated at $50,000.
Fire crews remained on the scene for almost six hours, leaving around 12:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
“It was a difficult fire to extinguish because it was an older building,” Chief Richardson explained. “The back part of the building had been an add-on so we had new roofs over old roofs creating a void that were difficult to get at.”
Firefighters had to chip away shingles and cut holes in the roof to get at the flames.
“Also, all the contents in the building made it difficult to get around for an interior attack,” Chief Richardson noted.
Fire crews and insurance agents returned to the site Wednesday to further assess the damage. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.