Fire rips through Tommy and Lefebvre store
The owners of Tommy and Lefebvre sporting goods are grappling with $2 million in damages to their flagship store on Bank Street after a five-alarm fire ripped through the building early Tuesday morning.
Natalie Tommy, whose father helped build the store 50 years ago, says her family is not only faced with the loss of the store, but also the loss of history.
"My dad started it with his brother and Reg Lefebvre in 1958. They were Olympic ski racers and World Cup skiers, and really that's all they knew how to do," Tommy told CTV Ottawa outside the charred building, located at the corner of Bank and McLeod streets.
The blaze was reported just before 1 a.m. Tuesday, causing a number of residents living in nearby apartments to be evacuated from their homes.
"I could just hear my upstairs neighbours moving around and shouting. So I went to the window and saw smoke, and then before I even had a chance to think, the firemen were at the door," said Mandi Lunan, who lives in an apartment building next to the store.
After more than three hours, a total of 92 firefighters were able to quell the blaze, stopping the flames from spreading beyond the store to neighbouring restaurants, apartments and an Esso gas station.
"I'm overwhelmed still a little bit by it. I'm still a little bit shocked I think," said Lunan.
Although the fire caused extensive damage to the sporting goods store, officials say no injuries were reported.
The southbound lanes of Bank Street between Gladstone Avenue and Catherine Street remain closed while crews investigate.
Now, the Lefebvre family is looking to deal with the damages and move forward.
"We might be one of those 'from out of the fire rises the Phoenix' and you know, we come back bigger and stronger than ever," said Tommy.
Although investigators have not determined the cause of the fire, officials say it is not considered suspicious.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Catherine Lathem