Smoke was flowing out of the upper floor of the Buckerfield’s building about 6:15 Sunday evening, March 10, but firefighters were able to quickly put out the blaze. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)

Buckerfield’s hopes to reopen soon after building fire

Company’s president Kelvin McCulloch grateful to firefighters who saved the store

Buckerfield’s president and owner Kelvin McCulloch said the Salmon Arm store got lucky Sunday evening thanks to the quick action of firefighters.

McCulloch said he’d be arriving in town Tuesday morning, March 12, to meet with Buckerfield’s Salmon Arm staff, as well as those investigating the damage done in the March 10 blaze that was contained to the second floor of the building.

From pictures and staff descriptions of the damage, McCulloch recognizes the fire could have been a lot worse, and is grateful to Salmon Arm firefighters who were quick to respond.

“I do want to congratulate the fire department on the wonderful job. They saved that building. They’re due all kinds of credit…,” said McCulloch. “I think one of the firemen was overcome with smoke inhallation, and our thoughts are going out to him. I hope he’s OK – I think he is. Again, the fire department did a great job.”

Read more: Fire at Salmon Arm Buckerfield’s Ltd.

Read more: Buckerfields Living Wage Program: What Happened?

McCulloch said the store’s main floor came out of the fire largely unscathed. There’s a process ahead with finishing off the investigation, having the electrical checked, and having a restoration company, already in place, begin work on the second floor. But McCulloch is optimistic the store will reopen very soon, possibly even by the weekend.

“We’ll just have to find out the story (Tuesday), but everybody wants us open, I want us open, so we’re going to do everything in our power to get back open as quickly as possible,” said McCulloch. “My objective today is to be open by the weekend. I don’t know if that’s possible but that’s what we’re going to try and do. Even earlier if we can do it.”

In addition to being thankful to Salmon Arm’s firefighters, McCulloch is also grateful for the outpouring of concern and support Buckerfield’s received via social media and elsewhere, and for the fact no one was seriously harmed during the fire, including the store’s senior greeter/pest control specialist Cindy the cat, who was in the building at the time.

“The cat’s very happy today,” said McCulloch. “She’s got a job, she’s actually employed there, so she doesn’t have to go looking for a job.”


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