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Update: Dry cleaning business burns overnight, contents lost

While the building is still standing, damage inside appears to be extensive
kerr's cleaners fire
Kerr's Cleaners in North Battleford suffered a fire early Thursday morning.

NORTH BATTLEFORD — Kerr's Cleaners, a dry cleaning business in North Battleford, suffered a fire early Thursday morning.

Here's an update:

While the building at 1152-100th Street is still standing, damage inside appears to be a total loss.

According to Deputy Fire Chief Dave Pratt of North Battleford Fire Department, there was extensive damage to the interior of the building, with the walls and structure itself suffering only minimal damage. 

According to Pratt, the fire was first reported by North Battleford RCMP who were on patrol around 11:50 p.m. late Wednesday night. The RCMP had noticed smoke in the area and quickly determined it was coming from the dry cleaning business.

The fire department was then notified and they responded to the scene at 11:52 p.m., and stayed on scene until about 4 a.m. in the morning to extinguish the fire.

Three fire apparatus were on scene including their aerial, and 14 staff were on scene fighting the fire. Deputy Chief Pratt and Fire Chief Lindsay Holm were on the scene.

The crews "looked in the front window on 100th Street and could see heavy smoke and maybe minimal fire because the smoke was so thick," Pratt said. The crews knocked the windows out of the front door and put a hose line in through the front, and a second line was put in in the back.

Chief Holm and Deputy Chief Pratt went back this morning to do an investigation. According to Pratt the cause appears to be an electrical wiring short that originated in extension cords that were plugged in in the middle of the building.

Community safety officers were on the scene to direct traffic and also to secure the building. Traffic on 100th street was blocked off while fire crews were on the scene and it was re-opened around 4 a.m. when the fire crews left.

The contents inside are deemed a "total loss", said Pratt, with the possible exception of some of the larger equipment. There was no real damage to the structure itself, though the fire crews did pull down some drywall in the ceiling to make sure the fire had not extended to the roof. 

The building was empty at the time so no one injured. Both the front and back doors had been secured.

2021 has been a heavy year of structure fires in the city of North Battleford. In the fire department's monthly report to council on Monday, it was reported there have been 17 residential structure fires and four commercial fires through the month of November.

Kerr's Cleaners was first established in North Battleford in 1946.

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