Cause of Platzl fire not yet determined

Fire could have been much worse, Assistant Chief says

Happy Hans

When the City of Kimberley purchased the ladder truck for the Fire Department a couple of years ago, it was argued that one day it might prove very valuable on a major fire. That day came last Friday, December 28, 2012, as the Kootenay Cycle Works building in the Platzl went up in flames.

With the ability to get at the fire and spray water from above, firefighters were able to save the building immediately adjacent — the Gilded Goat — and prevent the fire from spreading through the entire block.

The buildings in the Platzl are older and very close together. Had the fire taken off, it could have been catastrophic, says Kimberley Assistant Fire Chief Rick Prasad.

“We’d still be fighting it,” Prasad said Monday morning. “The ladder truck was extremely useful in protecting the remaining structures. We were able to get water on the nearby buildings and prevent the fire from spreading.”

He says the closest neighbour, the Gilded Goat building, sustained minimal damage. “It appears to be structurally sound.”

The cause of the fire, which began just before 6 p.m. last Friday evening, is still under investigation, Prasad said.

At the peak of the effort, 24 firefighters were on the scene. Fire crews remained on scene through the night.

As for when the rubble from the fire might be removed from the Platzl, Prasad says that matter is currently in the hands of insurance agents.

Kootenay Cycle Works has announced on the Facebook page that they are currently seeking a new location. They have posted a picture of a phoenix rising from the ashes.

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