STEVE CHINBURG/FOR THE BRANDON SUN
Flames engulf the True Value Hardware store in Virden over the weekend.
The fire that destroyed a hardware store and a seniors’ residence in Virden was set deliberately, police say.
Virden RCMP said yesterday that they had determined that the Sunday morning fire was an arson, although they didn’t say how precisely they believe it was started.
They also say that damage is estimated at $2.5 million.
On Sunday, Virden fire Chief Brad Yochim said that his department had to battle two fires at the same time — and it was the largest they had dealt with in a long time.
When the fire department arrived shortly after 4 a.m., the back of True Value Hardware was on fire and a seniors’ fourplex next door was also beginning to burn. There was a second fire at the town’s Bargain Store a block away.
Firefighters concentrated their efforts on the seniors’ residence, allowing everyone to escape unharmed, although they were unable to save the building.
The fire also knocked out power to much of the Virden downtown for hours.
» Brandon Sun
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 13, 2012