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Investigators have determined that an explosion caused a $1 million fire that destroyed the main office building housing the sales and parts departments at Village RV in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, on Tuesday (May 17).
The Regina Leader Post reported that during a press conference Wednesday Regina Fire Department spokesman Grant Nicurity said investigators have yet to pinpoint what caused the explosion and are looking at a number of possibilities.
The fire broke out shortly before 6 p.m., and quickly consumed the building, with the roof collapsing three hours later.
The dealership remains open as the firm’s service facility was saved by firefighters, who contained the blaze to the main building. Employees will be working out of temporary quarters on site until a new office building can be constructed.
The newspaper reported that Village RV has been at its current location since 1977, and renovations on the office were just completed last year. Bill Ortman, who is a partner in the business with Darren Gelowitz and Tony Reslein, estimated that around $400,000 in inventory was lost in the fire.
“We’ll survive it,” Ortman said Tuesday. “We’ve got so many people’s lives depending on us. There’s nothing else on my mind except how quickly we get back in business.”
Nicurity said the department does have some information on where the fire began, including an eyewitness report.
“We are very fortunate in this case that we had a staff member that was here,” said Nicurity. “He reported seeing lots of fire in the mezzanine area upstairs. So they are focusing everything at this point (on) what would be feeding into that mezzanine area that could cause an explosion.”
It will still take some time to determine the cause but investigators are “focusing on natural gas hook-ups for the furnaces, the heating equipment and those types of things,” said Nicurity.