Emergency crews were called to Sayers Foods on Burleigh Street around 12:30 a.m. Saturday. It is the main grocery outlet in the popular cottage country village of several hundred (the township has a population of 2,500) approximately 60 kilometres north of Peterborough.
Heavy smoke filled the air for hours as crews battled the flames, which spread throughout the entire building.
Neighbours at the scene said the grocery store had been in the same family for generations, independently owned and operated.
They are concerned about the lack of options now as this was the only grocery store in town, with the nearest alternative being in 40 kilometres southwest to Buckhorn, 45 kilometres north to Bancroft or 50 kilometres south of the village of Lakefield.
On Facebook, township mayor Carolyn Amyotte on Saturday morning said she her heart was “absolutely crushed” over the blaze. She said the main focus is to make sure the fire is extinguished and that the town is safe.
“The offers of assistance and support have been overwhelming,” she said. “Thank you all so much. Please know that we will be working with the Sayers on how to respond and serve our community during this time of great need. We will get through this folks. Our Heart is strong!’
Sayers Foods released the following statement on their Facebook page:
“The North Kawartha Fire Dept is working tirelessly. Most of these folks worked all day and now they’ve been working through the night. They’re organized, well trained and professional. Our family can’t thank them enough.”
The cause of the blaze is unclear at this time. No injuries have been reported.
A damage estimate has not been determined.
Burleigh Street and Wellington Street are closed as is the nearby pharmacy.
More to come…