Pickering plaza fire leaves $2M in damages, business owners on edge
A severe fire in a Pickering plaza has left $2 million in damages and business owners worried, with no clear timeline on when their stores will be able to re-open.
Crews were called to battle the fire Sunday just before 4 p.m. on Krosno Boulevard in Pickering.
The fire, crews say, ignited inside the Refuel Kitchen restaurant.
“The fire did start in the kitchen area. Investigators are currently working back there to determine origin and cause of the fire,” said Steve Fowlds, chief fire prevention officer with Pickering Fire.
Two people were initially taken to hospital but were later released.
Among the businesses with extensive damage: a pharmacy, a barbershop and a veterinary clinic.
“A lot of residents had concerns about the vet clinic. I can assure you none of the animals were hurt,” Fowlds said.
Although pets were safe, Liverpool Pharmacy owner Gamil Gayed is concerned for his customers.
“I am worried about my patients. That’s the foremost important thing. Most of the area, they actually come to the pharmacy. We have quite a few patients here,” he said.
A hairdresser, whose shop went up in flames, told Global News he had to reschedule multiple clients who were supposed to get their hair done for graduation.
The entire plaza’s gas and electricity have been shut off for the time being, so none of the businesses are operating.
The incident has not only devastated those who work in the plaza but also left long-time customers upset.
Roland Laundry has been going to eat at Refuel Kitchen three times a week for years.
“We come here, have great conversations, so it’s a sad day. It’s like mourning the loss of somebody,” he said.
The plaza’s barbershop was where A.J. Brown has been getting his hair cut for 25 years.
“It’s just a shame. I’ve been coming here forever and now it’s just like, where else do I go?”