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Sask. community rallies after losing the Craik Eco-Centre to fire

Click to play video: 'Town of Craik comes together after fire destroys prominent building' Town of Craik comes together after fire destroys prominent building
WATCH ABOVE: Residents are coming together in Craik, Sask. after a fire destroyed its Eco-centre. Ryan Kessler has more on how the loss of the building is impacting the community – Mar 25, 2016

CRAIK, Sask.– A town of about 500 people is standing strong after its most renowned attraction burned to the ground. The Craik Eco-Centre went up in flames around 9:30 a.m. CT Thursday in the middle of an off-the-grid community with about 20 homes.

The Eco-Centre received province-wide recognition for its use of sustainable building materials and energy-efficient design including recycled wood from an old mill, walls lined with straw and composting toilets.

“It attracted people. That building is the reason that we are here,” said Brent Kreuger, one of the residents of the community known as the Craik Eco-Village.

Kreuger called 911 after he saw the fire nearby. He noticed white smoke filtering out of the roof of the building while he was on his adjacent property.

No one was hurt, but the centre is considered a total loss. The facility cost more than $1 million to build and included countless hours of work from volunteers.

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Sask. community rallies after losing the Craik Eco-Centre to fire - image
Kelly Taylor-Faye / Supplied

The cause of the blaze is unknown. Investigators are expected to be at the site on Monday, according to town councillor David Ashdown.

“It was a mark of pride. People knew about Craik because of the Eco-Centre,” Ashdown said.

READ MORE: One dead after fire near Shellbrook

Built in 2004 and located about 120 kilometres northwest of Regina, the centre housed a conference centre, golf pro shop and the Solar Garden Restaurant.

“Someone who had a good business and it was growing and it was improving and there were lots of bookings already in for 2016,” Ashdown said.

There have been no decisions about a possible rebuild, but Kreuger isn’t opposed to the idea.

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“A lot of people are coming together again because they turned around and said ‘oh we’ve got to do something,’” Kreuger said.

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