Photo by Brent W.J. Mackie, courtesy of CBC

Fire at St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market causes $2 million in damage

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A fire at St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market, a popular southern Ontario tourist destination located just north of Waterloo, Ont., in Woolwich Township, has resulted in damage to the market’s main building that could run as high as $2 million.

According to Deputy Chief Dale Martin of the Woolrich Fire Department, authorities received a call at 1:48 a.m. on the morning of Monday, Sept. 2nd, regarding the fire. By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, flames were already poking through the main building’s roof. Between 30 and 40 firefighters arrived from four stations to fight the blaze, which was under control by 6 a.m.

At a news conference held at noon that day, Woolwich Fire Department Chief Rick Pederson pointed out that a sprinkler system could have saved the structure, which is now “a total loss,” Martin told the CBC.

“On arrival, the farmers’ market building—the main building—was totally involved in fire, coming out through the roof,” Martin said. “At that point we concentrated on the other buildings around here, where the livestock sales happen.”

Thankfully, no one was hurt in the fire, though according to Woolwich Mayor Todd Cowan, as many as 60 vendors have been affected by the blaze. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

According to Sheila Shantz, the manager of the St. Jacobs market, there are plans to re-open the market as soon as possible, once the fire department and fire marshal have given their approval.

Once the market re-opens its doors, its regular year-round hours extend from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday and Saturdays.