We’re just two days into 2014 but the new year didn’t get off to a good start in Masardis. The Trading Post there burned to the ground last night and fire crews battled the flames in below zero degree temperatures. News Source 8’s Angela Christoforos reports…
Just after 8 o’clock Wednesday night both the Masardis and Ashland Fire departments arrived at the 2-story building that housed the Masardis Trading Post and an apartment overhead engulfed in flames.
Fire Chief of the Masardis Fire Department Nelson Craig said, “We attacked the fire as best we could under the weather conditions which was really cold, 20, 25 degrees below zero we were fighting fire and fighting the equipment from freezing up.”
The fire was put out by 9:30 Wednesday night but the blaze was so big that debris was still steaming Thursday morning. Business owners Tim Gagnon and Tory Guito are also the homeowners. They weren’t home at the time of the fire but returned to find that their home, business, and pet cat were all gone.
“It was quite a shock to them, cause this a store that’s been in town for a number of years,” said Craig.
Masardis Town Manager Julie Macdonald said, “They sold just about everything. We called it our little Walmart. It’s devastating to the town too, we depended on them.”
According to the Masardis Fire Chief there’s a possibility that the fire was caused by the pellet stove in the apartment.
“Everything is under a tremendous amount of pressure from the cold, being over worked and the furnaces are working harder,” said Craig.
Friends we spoke to say the owners are absolutely devastated. The building is a total loss. To the business and homeowners, and to the community. The Red Cross has reached out to the homeowners to provide them with aid during this difficult time.