February 20th, 2020

Origin of Wednesday’s fire still unknown

By Peggy Revell on May 25, 2018.


Medicine Hat Fire Service’s investigation into the cause of a Wednesday evening fire that destroyed Deadbolt Construction Inc./Bamboo Innovations continued into Thursday.

“The extent of the damage is to where the building will be torn down,” said Platoon Chief Doug Lagran, speaking midday while on scene at the 18th Street S.W. site in the city’s light industrial area.

As it’s not safe to go inside the building, Lagran explained that the fire inspector has been conducting the investigation by looking down from above, while fellow fire service members were ready to pour water down if and when hot spots were detected.

“We don’t want any flareups,” said Lagran.

Lagran said they are waiting on the insurance company to confirm it can be torn down; once the tearing down starts, they can go inside and pinpoint the fire’s cause.

“It’s overwhelming,” said JoDana Tokamp, who with Dustin Tizzard are owners of the two companies. They were waiting Thursday at the scene to hear further news from the investigators, and hoping to at least retrieve paperwork from inside the building so they can get in contact with customers.

“It’s brought our whole business to a standstill,” said Tokamp, as this is a busy time of the year.

“We’re super grateful,” she added. “So many people have reached out.”

And she wanted to assure people that the dogs who are often at the business with them are OK as well.

The pair have owned the companies for 10 years, but had been at this location for the past two.

The fire started at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday with firefighters getting the blaze under control by 9:30 p.m.

All fire stations responded, said Lagran, with 16 to 17 on scene who were swapped out as time went on. Overtime firefighters came in to stand at the station in case other calls came in.

The victimized business and surrounding businesses are all standalone buildings, said Lagran, so aside from possible smoke damage, neighbouring businesses appear to have no damage.

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