Fire strikes Foodland grocery store in Colborne

Cramahe Township firefighters tackle a fire at the Foodland grocery store in Colborne, Ont., on May 24, 2023. Cramahe Township Mayor Mandy Martin photo

The Office of the Fire Marshal is investigating a fire early Wednesday that damaged the only grocery store in the village of Colborne, Ont., just east of Cobourg.

Just before 5 a.m., Cramahe Township and Brighton firefighters responded to a fire at the Foodland store on Toronto Street. The Cobourg Fire Department also was requested to provide its aerial ladder truck.

Attached to the same building are Century Cycle, a bicycle repair store, and Johnston Motors, a used car dealership and repair shop.

Township fire chief Mark MacDonald told Quinte News that crews upon arrival  discovered flames inside the grocery store.

Cramahe Township Mayor Mandy Martin, who is also county warden, said township staff have begun work on a food security response in the wake of the fire — “such things as transportation, stocking up on basics at other stores, and so on.”

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“One thing I know: situations others may think will shut us down only make us stronger and responsive,” she said. “We can — and do.”

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Any township resident in need of support is asked to call the township’s clerk’s department at 905-355-2821 ext. 222.

MacDonald said the OFM has been contacted to assist in the investigation. OFM spokesperson Sean Driscoll says an investigator has been dispatched to the scene.

“As the OFM investigation is about to begin, it would be premature to determine a cause at this time,” he stated.


In a statement on its Facebook page late Wednesday morning, Colborne Foodland thanked the community for its offer of help and said a fire inspector is investigating and that it “may take a couple of days or more.”

On behalf of owner John Foley, spokersperson Robyn Flint said the business needs some time to “figure out our next step in helping getting food to the community” until the store reopens.

Both Century Cycle and Johnston Motors also said they are temporarily closed until further notice.

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More to come.

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