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Businesses destroyed by blaze could take years to fully recover

The charred remains of the Prairie Electric building on Pacific Avenue following a Dec. 9 fire that caused an estimated $400,000 in damage.

BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

The charred remains of the Prairie Electric building on Pacific Avenue following a Dec. 9 fire that caused an estimated $400,000 in damage.

It could take years for the businesses to fully recover from the massive Pacific Avenue blaze last week.

Ryan Lamont of Rylam Developments said he’s bracing for the insurance process to take up to two years after the fire claimed the building last Monday, causing an estimated $400,000 worth of damage.

Rylam had an office as well as storage in the building on Pacific Avenue and Second Street.

"We lost all our servers, our phone systems. We custom-built a solid maple conference table, we had custom-built our reception desk as well. It’s all handmade, but it’s all gone," Lamont said.

Generators, a Bobcat and a whole plethora of tools were lost since only one job vehicle was out on the morning of the blaze, which was caused by a faulty heater.

"There’s lots of things we use on a daily basis that are lost," he said.

"It’s huge. It’s massive."

He said watching his business go up in flames last Monday morning was more devastating than if it were his own home.

"I feed one family at my house. I feed 15 families at our office, so you need to always keep that in mind," he said. "There’s a lot of responsibility to continue to have Christmas and to make sure paycheques come in and bills are paid. That has to be priority No. 1."

Rylam Developments, which does custom build homes, commercial builds and Manitoba housing work, has a temporary office set up at 416 10th St. for the time being while Lamont figures out his next move.

"We have a lot of families to feed so we have no choice but to continue to move forward," he said."

The blaze may set back work for a number of jobs Rylam is involved in, including a condo development, Manitoba Housing work and renovations to Brandon Chrysler Dodge Jeep.

Prairie Electric was also occupying the building and the one-year-old business had an 18 foot by 20 foot storage facility for material set aside for future jobs. Owner Kelly Puhach said "it’s a little bit of a set back."

"It doesn’t really affect our day-to-day operations," he said. "The majority of our stuff is in the vans.

"Right now, we’re too busy to dwell. We’ll keep going and keep our customers happy and that’s all we’re trying to do right now."

Westman Golf Services also lost its storefront and flame-ravaged golf carts remain parked out front and covered with ice.

» gbruce@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 16, 2013

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It could take years for the businesses to fully recover from the massive Pacific Avenue blaze last week.

Ryan Lamont of Rylam Developments said he’s bracing for the insurance process to take up to two years after the fire claimed the building last Monday, causing an estimated $400,000 worth of damage.

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It could take years for the businesses to fully recover from the massive Pacific Avenue blaze last week.

Ryan Lamont of Rylam Developments said he’s bracing for the insurance process to take up to two years after the fire claimed the building last Monday, causing an estimated $400,000 worth of damage.

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