PORT HARDY – Two firefighters suffered minor injuries in a blaze on Gray Street Monday that at first confounded firefighters.
The fire started just before 7:00 p.m. on Monday night between two buildings that have been joined together over the years, said Capt. Brent Borg of the Port Hardy Fire Department.
“We didn’t find any fire for while. Just lots of smoke,” said Borg. That’s because the fire travelled through the walls into both buildings. Then flames broke out through the ceiling.
“We were back and forth between the buildings,” said Borg. “We were chasing it all night.”
Borg said he thought they might lose the whole structure, but with reinforcements from the Port McNeill fire department they were able to knock down the fire and get it under control.
Two firefighters were injured during the blaze. One fell partially through the second story floor when it gave way and the other lost footing on some stairs, said Borg. Both were treated on scene by B.C. Ambulance Service paramedics.
Four businesses and an apartment suffered damage in the fire, said Borg, primarily from smoke and water. Fire damage to the contents of the businesses was minimal, but structural damage would be assessed by a fire investigator.
Despite the challenges facing firefighters, they were able to retrieve computers and important files from lawyer Paul Grier’s office.
“We know how important that information is for the town,” said Borg.
Firefighters finished mopping up the fire about midnight and security was placed on the scene until investigators arrived.