The Big Lake store was completely destroyed by fire which began Sunday evening. (Photo submitted)

The Big Lake store was completely destroyed by fire which began Sunday evening. (Photo submitted)

Big Lake store, post office destroyed by fire

The Big Lake Volunteer Fire Fire Dept. responded Sunday evening

The rural community of Big Lake in the Cariboo lost its only store to a fire that began Sunday evening, March 14.

Members of the Big Lake Volunteer Fire Dept. responded after a call came in at 10:20 p.m.

“By the time we arrived it was all through the attic,” Captain Ray Bruneski told the Tribune Monday.

A full crew of 14 firefighters with four trucks poured 23,000 gallons of water on the fire but couldn’t stop it, he added.

Hoses were tapped into the hydrant at the lake and a hydrant at the hall and they kept a bladder full nearby.

“We stayed until about 3:30 a.m. and our Chief Joel and Virginia stayed to monitor because the fire kept flaring up,” he said.

Bruneski said the store, which housed the post office, was completely destroyed, however, they saved the gas station with its pumps and propane tanks.

Read more: Big Lake raises $13K and counting for family of toddler with cancer

With temperatures dropping down to -9C the hoses kept freezing at the nozzle and jamming and at some intervals crew members took the hoses back to the hall to thaw them.

He said it is devastating to the community yet they are grateful no one was injured.

“It is a huge loss.”

The store was built in 1985 by the Harder family and then purchased seven years ago by Dave and Penny Carpenter.

Bruneski said the Carpenters had done lots of renovations to the store, with a new layout, and brought the post office inside.

“We are a close community and really lean on each other,” he said. “We want to recognize our chief too. He was there all night and provided me with these details for the interview.”

A fire inspector will be arriving to try and determine what caused the fire and in the meantime the community will be looking at where to house a temporary post office.

All of the mail in the boxes would have been destroyed as well.

Read more: FIRE PREVENTION WEEK: Big Lake Volunteer Fire Department



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Cariboofire

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

District of houston
Council dips into surplus for highway project

Costs have risen to place utility lines underground

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

Accessibility improvements and more classrooms at the Houston Christian School should be completed by the new school year. (Houston Today photo)
Accessibility improvements coming to Houston Christian School

Construction package includes two classrooms

The soft opening of the nature centre at the Buck Creek CANFOR hatchery took place mid-April. (Angelique Houlihan photo/Houston Today)
Houston hatchery and nature centre’s upcoming events

The conservation group to host summer students this year

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Most Read