A historic pub, referred to as ‘City Hall’ by some, burned to the ground in Christina Lake Saturday morning.
Firefighters were called to the Crow and Bear Pub and Restaurant just before 5:30 a.m. and discovered the building fully engulfed in flame.
“When I arrived on scene the fire was already through the roof,” said Ken Gresley-Jones, Christina Lake fire chief. “It just took off and I knew at that point that we weren’t going to be able to save it.”
Crews will return to the scene Sunday to investigate the cause of the fire.
“There are a few things that just have my curiosity piqued and we’re going to look into that,” said Gresley-Jones.
The Crow and Bear pub has been the go-to spot for drinks and socializing in the small town since the seventies.
“It’s a loss for our small community here, it’s the only pub,” said Gresley-Jones. “I made a comment to one of the fellows, I said, ‘Oh my God, we have no pub, I’m moving.’”
There was a somber mood amongst the emergency crews as they watched the bar burn down.
“The owners of the pub, he is on our fire department as a volunteer fire fighter and this is not a good day for them,” said Gresley-Jones. “He’s pretty upset, this is his livelihood and it’s gone.
“Its always been there, that’s been the place. Many of us on the fire department referred to it as City Hall, it’s just there, and now it’s not. It’s not a happy day.”
Despite the depressing circumstances, a moment of absurdity brought a smile to some faces.
“A large can of garbanzo beans exploded, shot right across the building and across the highway, and landed on the front of a police car, denting the hood,” said Gresley-Jones. “We had a good laugh over that.”