'It's devastating:' Paula Haapanen reacts to the fire at the Finnish Labour Temple in Thunder Bay
'It's devastating:' Paula Haapanen reacts to the fire at the Finnish Labour Temple in Thunder Bay
KenoraOnline.com
 

A fire broke out at the historic Finnish Labour Temple early Wednesday evening in Thunder Bay.

The fire tore through the building resulting in significant fire and water damage.

At the time of publishing, it's unclear how the fire started or if anyone was in the building.

The building was constructed in 1909 and in 2015 was designated a national historic site.

KenoraOnline spoke with Paula Haapanen, Interim President of the Finlandia Co-operative of Thunder Bay, the group that is aiming to reopen the Hoito Restaurant. She says the fire is devastating for the community.

"People who have come and gone through Thunder Bay have most likely eaten at the Hoito and everyone I've spoken to has a Hoito story of some sort," said Haapanen noting that she's heard from countless people this evening sending their condolences and reminiscing about their time at the iconic restaurant.

"Everybody who is even remoting associated with Thunder Bay has got some history with the Hoito, somehow. I know everybody is in shock tonight," noted Haapanen.

Haapanen says she's been in contact with members of the Finlandia Co-operative of Thunder Bay board and says they remain committed to reopening the Hoito.

"We haven't lost the drive or the hope to actually do something and reopen the Hoito. We certainly hope it's in that space," added Haapanen.

The cooperative originally planned to reopen in mid-2022.

 

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