It has been 10 days since a fire sent smoke billowing across Mission’s downtown core. The blaze destroyed two buildings and damaged many of the surrounding businesses and some apartments.
While the cause of the fire is unknown, Mission fire inspector Ian Glasgow said it does not appear to be suspicious.
“The cause is undetermined at this time. There’s nothing right now to suggest there was anything suspicious,” he said.
Glasgow said the fire’s area of origin was in the back of Warcraft Games and, from there, it spread to the adjacent building – the residential building in the back of Swing Optical.
While Glasgow said it will be up to the insurance companies to decide what repairs are needed on the two buildings, Warcraft Games “was substantially damaged on the inside” so that will likely have to be rebuilt.
As the fire investigation continues, local business owners are looking ahead to the rebuilding process.
Satti Grewal of Swing Optical said his building can’t be saved.
“My building had two stores – mine and Goody Too Shoes – and I had an apartment on the top. So the whole building is done,” said Grewal, noting that it will be a total tear-down.
Despite the devastation, he is planning to rebuild and re-open.
“In the meantime, we’ll probably find some other place to rent out. We are looking at a couple of buildings.”
One option might be the old Fields building, if it is shared by several of the companies impacted by the fire.
“There are a lot of people affected by this,” said Grewal, “but we’ll be back.
When the fire began in the early afternoon of April 13, Grewal said he was in the store doing some paperwork.
“Because of COVID-19, our doors were closed.”
He heard a knock on the door from Gemma Quiring, owner of Goody Too Shoes.
“She said, ‘Can’t you smell that? I think there is a fire in your bathroom,’ ” Grewal said.
He had noticed a strange smell but thought someone had burned some popcorn.
Grewal went to the back of his store and there was smoke everywhere. The blaze had started next door, in the Warcraft Games building, and had moved into his building.
Firefighters battled the blaze for almost 11 hours before finally snuffing it out completely.
When Grewal got the chance to survey the damage, he realized almost everything was gone and his stock had been destroyed.
“Up to my counter, about 15 or 20 feet, there’s no roof after that.”
Grewal is still dealing with insurance but, once that is settled, the rebuild will begin.