3 p.m., March 31)
Fire closes St. Joseph strip mall indefinitely
By Fred Sherwin
The Orléans Star
Seven businesses in a strip mall at the corner of St.
Joseph Blvd. and Grey Nuns Drive have been forced to close
indefinitely after fire broke out in one of the businesses
just before noon on Saturday.
pours out of the side door to George & Sons
Upholstery on St. Joseph Blvd. Photo courtesy
of Stéphane Gratton
responded to a 9-1-1 call at around 11:30 a.m. When they
arrived, George & Son's Upholstery, A&T Nails
and Spa, and the Precious One's consignment store were
already filled with smoke.
blaze, which started in the upholstery store and spread
to the roof, was quickly brought under control, but not
before it caused extensive damage to George & Sons,
and A&T. Precious One's, Puffalot and Flower Mania
also suffered extensive smoke damage, while S.G. Printing,
which is located in the basement under George & Sons
suffered extensive water damage.
firefighters said there's four or five inches of water
on the floor," said SG owner Stéphane Gratton,
who was in the print shop with his wife and business partner
Angéle when the fire started.
walked in and I smelled a bit of smoke so I thought the
exhaust fan on the furnace may have short-circuited because
it had done it before, but there was nothing. Then Angéle
started yelling from the top of the stairs, 'Bring the
fire extinguishers. Bring the fire extinguishers. The
fire is next door.'
when I got up stairs Melissa in Precious One's said the
fire was in her storage unit. When I went to check it
out, the smoke was pouring out of the ceiling, so I started
shooting the fire extinguisher inside the ceiling. Finally
I said the fire is in the roof, let's get out of here."
wasn't until Gratton went back outside that he saw most
of the smoke coming out of George & Sons.
saw someone from George & Sons and they said that
it was a chemical fire and that it spread to the fabric,"
said Gratton who was told that the at least three of the
businesses would have to be totally gutted and the roof
replaced, a job that could take several months.
who is fully insured, is planning to get back to business
first thing Monday morning. "We will have to call
of our clients and sub-contract the work out to other
print shops. We're not going anywhere."
stand outside George & Sons Upholstery
and A&T Nails and Spa after the two businesses
were gutted by a fine on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo
his clients, Gratton is also concerned about his four
full-time employees who will be out of work until the
shop can be reopened. "I have to check with my insurance
company, but I'm pretty sure their wages are covered until
they get employment insurance, or at least part of their
for the other businesses, the A&T Nails and Spa only
recently came under new ownership and Precious One's is
up for sale. Or at least it was. A For Sale sign was still
hanging in the window behind the broken glass.
jury is out on Puffalot, Flower Mania and the Turkish
Village Restaurant which is located at the far end of
strip mall away from George & Sons.
the three businesses didn't suffer as much damage as the
others, they are all connected to the hydro box which
is located next to George & Sons.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)