Building goes up in flames in Lakefield
Building goes up in flames in Lakefield

Selwyn Fire Chief Gord Jopling, left, speaks with Gerry Tucker, the owner of Gerry’s Bait & Tackle on Lakefield Road. The bait shop – which is next to Kawartha Lakes Construction on Lakefield Road – caught fire around 4 p.m. on Thursday, February 13, 2020. No one was hurt in the fire. - JOELLE KOVACH , Examiner

LAKEFIELD — The Gerry's Bait and Tackle building on Lakefield Road/County Road 29 in the southwest end of Lakefield went up in flames Thursday afternoon.
The fire broke out just after 4 p.m. at the 3359 Lakefield Rd. building, next to Kawartha Lakes Construction and across the street from Lakefield District Public School.
Heavy smoke billowed from the building as the flames spread.
Gerry Tucker, owner of the bait shop for the last six years, said he was alone in the building at the time the fire broke out.
He escaped unhurt and ran next door to Kawartha Lakes Construction to call 911.
The building also houses a woodworking shop. Tucker said the woodworker had been there in the morning but was gone when the fire broke out at 4 p.m.
As Tucker was standing at the scene on Thursday, his family arrived to find him unhurt. He said he was able to escape because the smoke quickly filled the interior of the store. 
"I was sitting behind my desk at my till, and the furnace cut in," Tucker said.
"And then smoke came out of the vent and it hit me right in the face. I came outside, and smoke was going everywhere. I looked over and flame was coming out of the far corner."
"I was going to go back in to get money out of my till, but there was too much smoke. "So I just left it."
Tucker said he doesn't have insurance and that the building doesn't belong to him: he rents the space.
Selwyn Township Fire Chief Gord Jopling said the cause of the fire is still under investigation and no estimate of damage was available yet.
He said he expected fire crews to remain on the scene into the evening.
The smoke blew across the road, reducing visibility to near zero.
Traffic was being diverted by Peterborough County OPP from Lakefield Road/County Road 29 between the 8th Line of Smith and Bridge Street while Selwyn Township firefighters battled the blaze.
On the west side, traffic was being diverted onto County Road 18.
Many parents who were heading to Lakefield District Public School to pick up their children after school were turned around.
Peterborough Police were also on hand and advised motorists to avoid the area due to lane restrictions leading up to the fire scene.
At about 6 p.m., the road was reopened to traffic.
Firefighters brought the stubborn blaze under control just after 9:30 p.m.
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