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North Bay flooring store Stradwicks destroyed in fire


A massive fire broke out overnight inside an 80-year-old flooring store in North Bay.

Fire crews were called to Stradwicks Carpet One Floor & Home on Brule Street shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday.

"Upon arrival the rear portion of the building was fully involved and the fire was spreading quickly in the roof system. Fire spread was assisted by the fire load of the building due to the nature of the products contained within," North Bay Fire Chief Jason Whiteley said in a news release.

"Fire crews confirmed there were no occupants inside and then went to a defensive fire attack. Fire crews also provided exposure protection to the ultramarine fuelling depot."

The owners of the business told CTV News video journalist Eric Taschner no one should have been inside at the time, as the family-owned business was closed at that hour.

Firefighters were able to get the fire under control just after midnight, but crews remain on scene Wednesday to extinguish hot spots.

Local investigators will continue an investigation into the cause, but the fire is not considered suspicious.

While the Officer of the Ontario Fire Marshal has been notified, it will not be investigating.

"The building and contents are considered a total loss," Whiteley said.

"A dollar loss has not been determined."

No one was injured as a result of the fire.

North Bay firefighters stand infront of burned out Stradwicks flooring store. May 8, 2024 (Eric Taschner/CTV Northern Ontario)

The company's owners, Gary James and Carmen van Empel told CTV News in an interview they are heartbroken by the news.

"It was really tough to hear that a place we all love and work so hard at was gone," van Empel said.

"The support we’ve seen this morning from the community has just been unbelievable. I’ve had over 300 texts offering space, help, offering anything they can or just saying kind words."

The store was first opened in 1944 by J.C. Stradwick.

James' father Ralph bought the branch in 1980, moving it to a larger facility.

"I've been her 30 years and I think they've had it in this location for 40 years," James said.

The owners are now looking for a temporary location.

"Like the old expression goes, rise up and we'll be bigger and better," van Empel said. Top Stories

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