Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Programs in limbo after fire at community centre

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Wayne Glowacki / Winnipeg Free Press 
A fire at the Windsor Community Centre caused extensive damage, forcing the suspension of the summer camp program and putting others in limbo.

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Wayne Glowacki / Winnipeg Free Press A fire at the Windsor Community Centre caused extensive damage, forcing the suspension of the summer camp program and putting others in limbo.

A fire at the Windsor Community Centre had firefighters busy in the Elm Park area Wednesday night.

Crews were called to the community club, located at 99 Springside Dr., at approximately 9:30 p.m. It's believed the fire started on the outside basement electrical panel.

Smoke and water damage to the building is extensive. Officials estimate the damage at $500,000, but the temporary loss of club access and disruption to the programs is immeasurable.

"There's no access to the building and (from) what I can tell the damage looks pretty intense," community centre president Jackie Hanna said Thursday.

Hanna hopes the club can be up and running by the winter.

The club housed a number of programs for residents in the area. The summer camp program for kids has been cancelled for the rest of the summer, and the status of the September programs -- daycare, tiny tots, woodworking and various crafts -- is up in the air right now.

"And hockey, too. We're a big hockey community and our (outdoor) rinks are busy all winter," Hanna said. "We usually have the ice in in November. The ice will go in no matter what, the issue will be accessing the club for teams to change into their equipment."

There were no injuries in the blaze.

The community club posted the following note on its website early Thursday morning:

"We appreciate all the concern from so many kind people about our beloved club. Right now we can tell you that no one was hurt, and that it looks like the fire started in a basement electrical panel. We will be keeping you posted on our Facebook page as we know more. A huge thank you to all the wonderful emergency personnel who were on the scene tonight."

Though Hanna was a little overwhelmed at the sight of the damage Thursday, she was confident the community that uses the centre would help bring it back to life.

"This is a close-knit neighbourhood," she said. "I would say 95 per cent of the (area) residents would be affected by this. We'll take a look at what we have and get to work on the rebuild right away."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 8, 2014 B5

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