Williams Lake Home Hardware co-owner Scott Tucker said that the fire at the store at around 9:00pm Tuesday night was an arson attempt. He said that the video surveillance footage he provided to the RCMP showed a person on the loading dock starting a fire on the outside wall of the store.
“The fire inspector didn’t find traces of accelerant when he was here yesterday, so it could be that the person stuffed cardboard or paper into the metal siding,” he said.
He explained that there is smoke damage “here, there and everywhere” throughout the store, but that the main area affected by the fire itself is the paint department and colour chip display.
“We have a contractor coming in to replace studs, a structural beam, exterior metal siding and telephone and security wires,” he continued.
Scott explained that watching the split view on the security camera showed the guy lighting the fire on the outside of the building while the janitor was cleaning inside the store. “You can see the janitor notice the smoke creeping across the floor—that’s who phoned the Fire Department.”
One volunteer fire fighter was on the scene first with a fire extinguisher, according to Scott, but the smoke was too thick and toxic and he had to get out. “It was about nine minutes from the time of the call until the trucks arrived—about 21 minutes from the time the fire was started,” he explained.
“Another 10 minutes and it would have been really bad: we figure that those 10 minutes saved us about $40,000.”
He said that if he could share anything with other business owners it would definitely be the benefits of metal siding. “In this case, it saved our bacon,” he said. “If it had been wooden windows and siding, it would have burned to the roof and burned to the ground.”
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