Port Moody heritage buildings damaged by fire to be demolished

Fire destroys buildings in Port Moody’s heritage district
WATCH: Fire destroys buildings in Port Moody's heritage district

The City of Port Moody has given the green light for the demolition of two heritage buildings damaged in a fire on Sunday.

The city said Wednesday it had issued heritage alteration and demolition permits for the Roe and Abernethy Grocery Store and the Gallery Bistro cafe, both in the 2400 block of Clarke Street.

READ MORE: ‘Devastated’: Fire guts cultural hub in Port Moody’s ‘gallery row’

Both sites are within the Port Moody Centre Heritage Conservation Area, and the grocery store property is specifically designated as a heritage building.

However, the city said both have been deemed unsafe, and in need of immediate demolition.

WATCH: Fire destroys Port Moody heritage buildings

Fire destroys Port Moody heritage buildings
Fire destroys Port Moody heritage buildings

The cause of the fire, which broke out around 6 p.m. Sunday, remains under investigation. Firefighters say it appears to have started in the roof of the old general store, which has been closed and vacant for several years.

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READ MORE: Tri-Cities fire crews battle Port Moody downtown blaze

Local residents, artists and musicians say they’re devastated by the destruction, describing the Gallery Bistro as a popular gathering place and a hub of cultural activity.

The city says any new buildings constructed on the sites will need to meet development guidelines for the heritage conservation area.