Major fire guts beloved St. Jacobs Market near Waterloo, Ontario
Monday, September 2, 2013, 5:13 PM -
Fire officials say a blaze that gutted a popular farmer's market north of Waterloo, Ont., caused approximately $2 million in damage.
Fire crews were called early Monday morning to a major blaze at the two-storey St. Jacobs Market, a 24,000-square-foot building that houses around 60 vendors.
Woolwich Township Deputy Fire Chief Dale Martin says the fire gutted the complex's main building. But he says the market's outdoor section could once again be open to food sellers and the public by Thursday.
Martin says there were no injuries and that it was not immediately clear what caused the blaze, which is being investigated by the Ontario Fire Marshal.
He says the wood building, as well as fabrics and other materials sold by vendors, fuelled the blaze, which took 40 firefighters three hours to put out.
Mayor Todd Cowan says the municipality will do what it can to get the market open again.
"This is a devastating loss for St. Jacobs, the Township of Woolwich, the region and the agricultural community,'' Cowan said in a statement. "The Township of Woolwich will work with the community and the owners to help re-establish the market as soon as possible.''
Premier Kathleen Wynn took to Twitter to thank firefighters who battled the blaze and express her regrets at the loss of the market, a favourite spot for tourists that is open all year long.
"The destruction of the St. Jacobs Farmers' Market is a terrible loss to the Waterloo region. St. Jacobs played such an important role in the community and contributed greatly to the local economy.''
Rick Pederson of the Woolwich Township Fire department told reporters that crews were "very lucky" that the wind was blowing the flames away from surrounding buildings.
With files from The Canadian Press
The destruction of the St. Jacobs Farmers' Market is a terrible loss to the Waterloo region. St. Jacobs played such an important role...— Kathleen Wynne (@Kathleen_Wynne) September 2, 2013
...within the community and contributed greatly to the local economy. I want to thank all the brave firefighters for their efforts...— Kathleen Wynne (@Kathleen_Wynne) September 2, 2013