No injuries were reported after an early morning fire destroyed a hot tub business in Selwyn Township.
According to Andrew Bowyer, Selwyn Township Fire Department’s fire prevention officer, crews around 3 a.m. were called to a reported structure fire on 8th Line Smith (County Road 18) at Rotospa Hot Tubs, a business just west of the village of Lakefield. The business specializes in building and servicing hot tubs.
Bowyer says the massive blaze required a full five-hall “all-call response” with 45 firefighters on scene.
“Upon arrival the building was fully engulfed,” he told Global News Peterborough at the scene. “It was a defensive attack. Because of the intensity of the fire and heavy smoke we were unable to get anywhere near the fire.”
Assistance was called in from neighbouring Douro-Dummer Township to help with the fire and replace volunteer firefighters who had to leave the scene for work, he said.
According to co-owner Bill Prentice, the business opened in 1997 and currently had 21 employees, some who have worked for more than 18 years, helping manufacture hot tubs on site which were then sold across North America and Europe.
The township reported 8th Line between Buckhorn Road and Centre Line was closed. It reopened around 12:45 p.m.
Bowyner says crews focused on surrounding the fire to keep it contained as they were also dealing with hazardous materials and chemicals used in the production of hot tubs.
The Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal has been notified of the incident, he said. The Ministry of the Environment is also at the scene to investigate.
Bowyner said in “briefly talking” with the business owner, the estimated damage could be “upwards to $5 million.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
“We haven’t been able to get close to it, our crews are still working on scene there as we start to do some overhaul and then we’ll take a look for possible causes,” Bowyner said.
— More to come.