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Fire destroys historical hardware store in Mirror, Alberta
A fire has completely destroyed a historical building in the small rural Alberta community of Mirror, roughly 40 kilometers east of Lacombe.
Mirror’s century old hardware store was reduced to rubble, after the fire gutted the building early Monday morning. Investigators say it initially came in as a call for a smoke investigation.
“Upon the first initial fire unit arriving on scene, we did have a building, the hardware store behind me here, that was involved structurally with a fire,” said Lacombe County Fire Chief Todd Gustafson.
Several other departments from surrounding communities were called to the scene. Officials say some brought additional water pumps, as the small hamlet of Mirror has limited resources. About 30 firefighters were on hand.
Gustafson remained on scene Tuesday afternoon, and said the investigation is complex. “We were dealing with a hardware store here so we certainly had sufficient fire load within the building itself.”
A K9 unit, an ‘Accelerant Dog’ was brought in to help investigators.
“[We brought in the K9 Unit] because of the significant property loss with this structure fire. Essentially...it’s just helping us rule out possibilities,” Gustafson said.
And this isn’t the first time residents of Mirror have seen a fire completely destroy a building in town. Last year, a hotel just across the street from the hardware store was completely gutted during a blaze.
The Imperial Mirror Hotel, built in 1912, burnt to the ground last February. And although that building had been left vacant for a few years, Gustafson says losses like these are devastating to a small community like Mirror. “You’re dealing with an independent business owner here, and a business of this variety within a small hamlet like this, it’s going to be a big loss.”
Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the blaze. Damage is estimated at more than half a million dollars.