The old, abandoned Ritz Motel in the Village of Radium Hot Springs was completely destroyed by a fire on Sunday, June 9th.
The cause of the blaze, which began in the afternoon, was still under investigation at press time.
Radium firefighters — 14 in all — responded to the incident shortly before 5 p.m. and were quickly assisted by other local fire departments.
“It was just a stubborn fire to get out because the wind was swirling,” said Radium Fire Chief Dave Dixon. “The wind was a huge factor.”
The fire burned for at least five hours until the firefighters were able to bring it under control and put it out.
“We immediately received support from members of the Windermere, Invermere, Edgewater and Panorama fire departments,including the aerial truck from Panorama,” said Radium Fire Chief Dave Dixon in a press release. “Our firefighters did an excellent job of containing the blaze and we are grateful for the additional support from our neighbouring departments.”
There were six firefighters from Invermere, four from Panorama, five from Windermere and one from Edgewater helping battle the fire.
The motel has been shut for many years. As a result there were no guests in any of the rooms, but caretaker Gary Teare was living on site. He was not harmed and no injuries have been reported in relation to the fire.
The fire crews stayed on scene for at least an hour after the blaze was extinguished, cleaning up and checking through big piles of debris for hot spots until roughly 11 p.m.