Photo: Deniece Sulyma/Facebook
The Texada Island Inn, a gathering place for the island community of 1000 people for more than 50 years, has been destroyed by fire.
Staff reported smelling smoke coming from a second floor laundry room shortly before 3 p.m. and called 911.
“The laundry room caught fire and the fire proceeded along the roof, ” says Inn owner Dan Devita.
Dozens of volunteer firefighters from Van Anda and Gilles Bay arrived to battle the flames.
Volunteers from two quarries including Texada Quarrying provided large water trucks.
Devita says they prevented the fire from spreading but, standing at the scene, he says the Inn may be a complete write-off.
“The second floor is completely gone, there is smoke damage absolutely everywhere else and water damage,” he said
“to the point that I don’t think it can be salvaged. ”
The restaurant was fairly busy at the time but everyone managed to get out of the building safely and no one was injured.
“There was no one in the upstairs rooms and we evacuated the lower floor, ” Devita said.
“Nobody was injured and that’s the best part of the whole thing,”
The Texana Island Inn was built in 1962, it is the only business of its kind on the island and an important local employer.
Devita knows the fire will leave a huge void in the community.
“This is where everybody congregated,” he said.
“We’ve been here 23 years so we’re really going to miss our time here for whatever time it takes to rebuild or whatever we have to do.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Photo: Coral Saunders/Facebook