By Marcia Love
Another local business has been lost to fire as Yaffles Kitchens was destroyed on Tuesday.
A cloud of smoke hung over the industrial area as the custom kitchen manufacturing and installing business caught fire early in the morning.
The Maple Creek Fire Department responded to the call just after 7 a.m.
No one was inside the building when the fire broke out, but John Flett, owner of neighbouring Fix It Up Chappie, noticed smoke coming out of the roof of 401 Second Avenue North when he arrived at work. The fire department was called, and Flett notified Yaffles owner Andy Rawlings, who was on his way to Shaunavon and turned around when he got the news.
Arrow Equipment used its zoom boom to tear into the walls, allowing firefighters to get at the flames inside, and an extra water truck was brought in to assist if needed.
Firefighters had the blaze under control in about two hours, with several members remaining on scene keeping an eye out for flare-ups.
At its peak, 56 litres per second were being pumped from the town’s water supply while dousing the flames – about 40 more litres per second than typical in town. Up to 50,000 gallons were used on the fire.
Inspecting the site later that evening, Fire Chief Keith Stork said the fire is suspected to have been caused by a piece of equipment. The ignition point is believed to be a wide-belt sander, which was located along the east wall.
Stork said he is unsure if it was an electrical issue or if the motor got too hot, but the origin of the fire appears to have been in the area of that piece of equipment.
The sander had been in use earlier that morning.
Once ignited, the fire rose to the roof area.
The building itself was only seven to eight years old. Rawlings said none of his equipment was very old either, but fire and water damage meant the equipment inside was destroyed.
“We got a little bit of paperwork out of the main office in the front,” said Rawlings. Nothing else could be saved.
An insurance adjuster was expected to arrive on Tuesday.
“We’re waiting and seeing what happens,” said Rawlings.
He had one employee, Duane Bowyer, and business had been very busy.
Yaffles Kitchens was a family-run business previously located along First Avenue North. But when most of the family moved back to England, Rawlings and Flett, who are partners in a building company, had two new buildings put up on their property along Second Avenue North.
The business is the second in town to be lost to fire this year after the laundromat was destroyed in a blaze on March 14.
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