By: Tim Petruk
Kamloops This Week
What was the “heart of the community” in McLure is now a smoking pile of rubble.
The McLure Restaurant, a highway diner in the small North Thompson settlement of McLure, 45 km north of Kamloops, burned to the ground overnight.
McLure resident Jessica Reiter lives across the Yellowhead Highway from the popular restaurant. She said she heard sirens on Saturday night.
“It was about quarter to 10 o’clock that I actually got up and looked outside,” she told KTW.
“It was maybe five minutes earlier that I heard the sirens.”
Reiter said the restaurant was clearly on fire, but wasn’t fully engulfed when she first looked. Mclure Volunteer Fire Department firefighters were battling the blaze.
“It took two more hours for everything else to be in flames and for the restaurant to be down,” she said.
An adjoining house, believed to have been unoccupied, also burned to the ground.
Reiter said the loss of the restaurant is bad news for McLure residents.
“It’s not an economical blow, but it definitely is a heart-of-the-community blow,” she said.
“It’s where people would meet for coffee and socialize. We have a market that opens in the summer but it doesn’t offer that kind of thing.”
Reiter said the restaurant had recently been under new management and appeared to be thriving.
“They had just re-opened it in the last year-and-a-half or so and it was really good,” she said.
“They were doing really well.”
The provincial Office of the Fire Commissioner is expected to investigate the blaze.