Businesses and residents of the City of Brandon are working at finding a new normal after a massive fire over the long weekend.
A devastating fire tore through Brandon’s historic downtown core Saturday afternoon. Three buildings were gutted and another was severely damaged.
Officials are still looking into the cause of the blaze, but they’re thankful no one was hurt.
Fire Chief Brent Dane said the source was still under investigation and damage estimates are not expected for several days.
Fire crews were still on scene all day Sunday and into Monday. It has now been classified as extinguished, but crews continue to monitor hot spots.
“It’s a matter of just making sure they don’t flare up and start burning again,” Dane said.
VIEW: images taken Tuesday of the damage caused
Dane said the fire could have been way worse than it was, but that it was without a doubt the worst fire Brandon has seen in some time.
“I’ve been here for 35 years, with this department. I don’t remember anything this big. In modern history for sure, this would be our biggest.”
Dane added the Brandon fire department had never before needed to call in extra help. As many as 30 additional firefighters from neighbouring communities assisted in getting the inferno under control.
The area is still cordoned off as the investigation and damage control is ongoing.
The city issued the following statement:
A GoFundMe campaign has been started to support the tenants of the housing complex that was damaged.
The page states the funds will be used to help “displaced families from their homes at Massey Manor located on Pacific Avenue.”
Over $11,000 has been raised in the two days since the fundraiser was launched.
Brandon Bear Clan also put out a call for specific items, as well as for volunteers to help sort and box donations to help evacuees.
The fire was sparked at the Christie’s Office Plus building on Pacific Avenue just after 12 p.m. Saturday.
Crews believe embers from the structure drifted and started subsequent blazes at three additional buildings: Massey Manor, Collyer’s Sales and Service at 638 Pacific, the strip mall at 603 Pacific, and a building housing a beer vendor and vacant nightclub on the corner of 5th Street and Rosser Avenue.
-With files from Timm Bruch and Nikki Jhutti