A Fraser Valley company that had retooled operations to produce personal protective equipment much needed due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been badly damaged in a fire.
LaserQuill Designs in Mission normally uses its laser-cutting equipment to produce custom pieces for tabletop strategy games.
When the pandemic hit, owner Matthew Walsh re-purposed the equipment to make plastic face shields for front-line health workers.
“I’m afraid that we did have a fire yesterday and will not be able to finish the face shields that we were hoping to deliver to local emergency services in our area,” said Walsh in a Facebook message, adding that the fire started at the business’s retail store, Warcraft Games.
“We are heartbroken but hope that someone else will be able to pick up where we left off.”
Firefighters were called to the shop in the 33000-block of 1st Avenue in Mission’s historic downtown shortly before 2 p.m. on Monday.
“A couple transformers blew, the power lines went up in flames,” said witness Trevor Bentley. “It reached into some apartment buildings there too.”
The cause remains under investigation, according to local firefighters.
No one was hurt, but two other businesses were seriously damaged and several apartment residents have been displaced.