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Fire destroys St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market near Waterloo

A fire has destroyed St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market near Waterloo, causing well over $1 million in damages.

“Damage is probably closer to the two-million mark,” Woolwich Township Fire Chief Rick Pedersen said at a news conference outside the market Monday afternoon.

There were food vendors as well as many fabric items, like quilts, in the 24,000-square-foot building, Pedersen said.

“There was a high-combustible load inside…a wood building,” he said.

It took about three hours and about 45 firefighters to get the fire under control. Most of their work was preventing the fire from spreading to other buildings.

“There is nothing suspicious at this point,” he added.

Lonnie Schubert, an investigator with the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office, said his office is looking at all potential ignition sources.

“I can’t give you an answer as to where the fire started or how,” he said. Schubert said the local fire and police departments as well as the market owners have been very helpful.

The blaze began at the popular tourist attraction around 1:45 a.m. Monday.

No injuries have been reported. Approximately 60 vendors were affected.  Pedersen said the outside portion of the market could reopen as early as Thursday, which didn’t surprise some area residents.

“Our community is truly saddened, but as such a vibrant place that we live in, we know our famous Farmer’s Market will continue, stronger than ever,” Steven Weber, who lives approximately 700 metres from the market, told CityNews.

Pedersen said security cameras were working.

The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office and Waterloo Regional Police are investigating.

Here’s a look at the market before the fire, courtesy of YouTube user skullmaster430.