GORE BAY – The owners of The Codmothers’ Restaurant in Gore Bay say they will reopen their business as soon as it is possible after a fire caused smoke damage in the restaurant this past weekend.
The Gore Bay-Gordon/Barrie Island joint volunteer fire department “got paged at 11:45 pm (on the evening of Saturday, July 4) to a structure fire at 55 Meredith Street in Gore Bay,” stated Gore Bay Fire Chief Mike Addison. “The report said there was lots of smoke coming from the building. We responded and blocked off the streets at the front and back street of the restaurant and evacuated the tenants in the building.”
“Then we sent a team in to discover the source of the fire,” said Mr. Addison, “as there was heavy smoke in the building. A small fire was found very quickly as grease rags which had been washed at the laundromat and dried in a dryer, had been put inside the laundry bag and the items spontaneously combusted.” He said a similar fire had taken place at Elliott’s restaurant in Little Current about a year ago as well.
The bag of grease rags was found in the staff washroom at the restaurant. The bag was on the floor, said Mr. Addison. “The heat ruined some of the tiles under the bag.”
A resident of one of the two apartments above the restaurant, who is also an employee of the restaurant, told the Recorder she had smelt smoke in her apartment late Saturday evening. She went outside to check at the back of the building and could smell smoke, so went to the front of the restaurant where she could see the smoke filling the restaurant.
“There was smoke damage sustained in the restaurant,” said Mr. Addison, who pointed out all the residents in the two apartments upstairs in the building were alright as well.
“(Firefighter) Duncan (Sinclair) did a great job in running the fire scene, and Justin Harris and John Baker found the source of the smoldering smoke and were able to put it out,” said Mr. Addison. Firefighters were able to leave the fire scene at 2:30 am Sunday morning.
“Duncan (Sinclair) had called the Billings Township Volunteer Fire Department as backup,” said Mr. Addison. “Our greatest concern was that the fire would spread through the restaurant and to neighbouring buildings.”
“We also contacted the insurance company and it was deemed not safe for the residents to go back to their apartments last night,” said Mr. Addison on Sunday. He said fans were left on in the restaurant and a place for the apartment tenants was found for the evening.
“It has already been a tough year on the business with the COVID-19 pandemic and Wayne (Martin) said they had had their best day of the year on Saturday at the restaurant,” said Mr. Addison. He pointed out the fire was accidental.
“We want to thank our loyal regular customers and new customers for their support and let them know we will be reopening as we possibly can,” stated Judith Martin, who owns The Codmothers’ with her husband Wayne.