Fire in Manotick.
What’s left of the Natural Market health food store and bakery in Manotick glistens in the sun after being doused by firefighters in the early hours of March 18.
MANOTICK - A Manotick health food store has been reduced to rubble after a March 17 fire.
The Ottawa fire department began receiving reports of smoke from the Natural Market building at 1140 Tighe St. around 11 p.m. Crews fought the fire for several hours.
On the morning of March 18, only the shop’s eastern corner and doorway remained, leading to a pile of rubble that glistened with ice from the previous evening’s dousing.
A spokesperson with the fire department described the building as “a complete loss” with $450,000 in damage. No one was injured. A second vacant unit in the same building was also destroyed in the fire.
The health food store had been located at the nearby Manotick Mews plaza for several years before relocating to the Tighe Street location last fall in order to expand with a gluten-free bakery. The Hodge Podge Shop had been located in the adjacent vacant unit until it closed in early 2013.
Manotick BIA director Donna Smith said the fire is devastating, especially in a village that prides itself on supporting local, independent businesses.
“First thing this morning I drove by and it just looks so tragic,” Smith said.
She said she’s not surprised other local business owners have been coming forward to offer their condolences.
“I’m not surprised because they are all local and independent, even the landlords. Everybody’s from the area.”
The Manotick Butcher wrote on its Facebook page on Monday morning, “It’s unfortunate about the fire at the Natural Market last night. As a small business we understand how devastating this kind of event is. While we’re glad it wasn’t us, we’re sorry for their loss and wish them well getting things back running. Kudos to the Manotick firefighters for saving the residence a metre away - that must have been a difficult save.”
The Manotick Florists and Gifts also offered their sympathy.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to our friends (Natural Market business owners) Darpan and Jamal whose business ... was lost to a fire during the night,” a staff member wrote on the florist’s Facebook page.
Even the nearby Watson’s Mill was encouraging the businessowners to keep their spirits up.
“Our thoughts go out to our neighbours and friends who have lost their business in the fire last night,” a staff wrote. “Such a sad story, but we're thankful no one got hurt. Stay strong, everyone.”
It is not clear what caused the fire.
Building owner Geoff Lamesse, who also owns Splash Pools on Tighe Street, and the business owners could not immediately be reached for comment.