After only a couple of months in operation at 14 Sioux Rd., a Sherwood Park business has been left searching for a new home.
Fire engulfed the building Saturday afternoon. Stacks of rubble, charred debris and snowmobiles are among the remains.
“You can’t even identify anything that’s in there. It’s a good thing we got a lot of pictures of what was inside. It’s just tough to look at it,” said Kevin Johnston, president, BOS Motorsports.
Earlier that day, the store was holding a Christmas open house. Johnston’s father had dressed as Santa Claus and customers were provided with an array of holiday treats. The store closed at around 3 p.m.
“Driving home, I was just pulling up to my house when it happened and then I got the call,” Johnston said. “Driving back to the shop on the Anthony Henday, and you see the flames right in the sky, you’re like, ‘That can’t be my place. It can’t be the building.’ And then you get here and realize it’s all in flames.”
Strathcona County Emergency Services said the fire started in the northwest corner of the building. BOS Motorsports was located in the southeast section. There were three businesses operating inside.
There were about 16 snowmobiles on display and more than 100 units in the back, but those are now marred by smoke and water damage. A number of snowmobiles were also in for servicing.
“Trying to take care of our customers – that’s the number one priority here,” he said.
Johnston and his team are now looking for a new retail space to call home. They plan on remaining in Sherwood Park. The staff is composed of eight people, who are now working out of a temporary space.
“They’re working really hard to memorize what was in there, going through everything customer-wise. Parts, accessories, snowmobiles, ATVs, dirt bikes, quads.”
Since the fire occurred, there has been an outpouring of support from the community.
“We’ve got a couple of customers – they’re suffering a loss here too. Their stuff was in for service work and they’ve offered us facilities to try and help us get back on our feet again. I didn’t expect that,” said Jim Hazen, general manager of BOS Motorsports.
“Our server was in house, so our server’s gone,” Hazen explained. “Anything we had for documentation is gone. So we’re coming together as a group and putting our memories together to try and recall every single person that we can try and help out.”
A message at the bottom of the business’s web page provides contact information so that customers can get in touch with Hazen.
Fire investigators said Wednesday the cause of the fire has been ruled “undetermined and not suspicious.”
It caused an estimated $7 million in damage.
No one was injured in the fire.