The residents of Hudson Bay are picking up the pieces following a fire Monday night.
The Hudson Bay fire department and RCMP responded to the fire on Churchill St. just after 10 p.m., however the building was considered a complete loss. The structure housed one residence, but the lone occupant was not home at the time of the fire. Three businesses operated out of the building. Robin Belhumeur owned the building which included Hudson Bay Tattoo. He said his thinking was to help small town business flourish with the purchase earlier this year.
“When we took the building over we had a vision for small businesses,” he told northeastNOW.
Timeless Treasures and the Cutting Edge also called the building home. The Cutting Edge was a hair studio, and Belhumeur described Timeless Treasures as “one-of-a-kind art and irreplaceable.” He said an associate owns another downtown property that he hoped could help the businesses get back on their feet.
“I hope and I pray he is able to and we will have a space for these types of entrepreneurial ventures,” Belhumeur said.
Crews battled the scene for several hours, and, luckily, no injuries were reported. The Scotiabank next door remains closed due to smoke damage. Another neighbouring building suffered exterior damage. Gift shop Make It Personal is located directly across the street from the scene. The heat was so extreme owner Ellen Kulyk said her storefront windows broke. She said the mood is quite sad around town.
“We watched the whole situation as the building was burning and it was heartbreaking. It’s a very important part of our community; all our businesses are,” Kulyk said.
The town has suffered from fires in the past, a jewelry store and bakery were both destroyed, never to be rebuilt. Hudson Bay Chamber of Commerce president Corinne Reine said that’s the biggest fear now from their organization.
“It’s not a good thing to lose three so hopefully Robin can get enough insurance to run again because he drew from a large area,” Reine said.
The RCMP was on scene until the noon hour Tuesday, but have since wrapped up their investigation with assistance from the provincial office of the Fire Commissioner. Hudson Bay RCMP detachment Sgt. Wanita Minty said the fire was deemed “accidental” and their file is now closed. Members of the Hudson Bay Fire Department - 16 in total - were on scene until the early morning hours battling the blaze.
On Twitter: @ClarkStork
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