Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Niagara Falls, Then and Now: the King David Bakery fire

In the early hours of Aug.31, 2009, the Niagara Falls Fire Dept. responded to a fire at the King David Bakery and Cafe at 5061 Centre St. in Niagara Falls, Ont. This building was located on the north side of Centre St., halfway between Ellen Ave. and McGrail Ave.above: Aug.31, 2009 - the roof is seen collapsed into the interior of the concrete block, basementless building, which was built about 15 yrs. ago. Workers dig to shut off utilities.
above: Aug.31, 2009 - looking in a north-easterly direction towards Ellen Ave. in the distance. Along with the bakery, there were two other buildings on this block of Centre St. between Ellen and McGrail - at the centre-right distance (on the north-west corner of Centre and Ellen) is seen a white building with red trim, which once housed Ma Agretto's Restaurant. To the far left (out of frame) on the north-east corner of Centre and McGrail, is the Golden Steer Restaurant. The King David Bakery, until several years ago, had a house right beside it (to the east, towards Ellen Ave.), but now, there were vacant lots on both sides of the building, operated as tourist parking lots. (see map: here) above: Sept.1, 2009 - heavy equipment begins to methodically tear down the building, as the Fire Marshall's office was investigating the blaze.
above: Sept.1, 2009 - during the investigation, workers sorted the debris into various piles on the adjoining parking lots. The lots and this block of Centre St. were closed off for three days.
above: Sept.2, 2009 - investigators examine the fire site from an aerial ladder.
above: Sept.2, 2009 - the site has been carefully cleared of debris, which was sorted into various piles on the neighboring lots. The tiled concrete floor can now be seen.
above: Sept.2, 2009 - late in the afternoon, the fire marshall's investigation was over; crews had to now take all the material they had sorted through earlier, and dump it from the neighbour's property back onto the former bakery site.above: Sept.8, 2009 - the rubble of the old King David Bakery now sits behind a tarped fence.
Photos by R. Bobak.

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