Fire destroys main grocery store and other businesses in Bella Bella

A fire in Bella Bella early Friday has consumed the local band store, liquor store, post office and cafe.

A fire in Bella Bella early Friday has consumed the local band store, liquor store, post office and cafe.

Bella Bella RCMP were notified at 4 a.m. the Band Store was on fire and the flames were rapidly growing, said Const. Lesley Smith, North District Media Relations officer.

Due to the close proximity of several gas and diesel tanks at the local gas bar, RCMP initiated an evacuation of the local hospital and several residences in the area.

The building that houses all four businesses was a 35-year-old wood structure and although fire crews attended quickly, the immense fire destroyed the building which was the main store for the community.

“This devastating fire has destroyed the main grocery store and other businesses which will greatly affect the entire community,”  said Smith. “RCMP along with the local Band Chief and Council are working closely together to ensure emergency plans are developed and implemented”.

Members of the Health Emergency Management BC have been contacted to assist the community during this disaster that will affect the community on many levels, Smith added.

RCMP forensic identification services and the fire commissioner are currently en route to the small community and are expected to arrive in Bella Bella on Saturday morning.