A Manitoba family is determined to rebuild their business after it burned to the ground earlier this week, leaving their eastern community without a grocery store.
"This town has gone through very good times and very hard times, and we've managed to survive both the good times and the hard times," said Hugh Wynne. Wynne has owned Wynne's Place in Bissett, Man., for about 35 years.
The combination restaurant and lone grocery store served as a meeting place for the roughly 150 residents of Bissett, Wynne said. The next-closest place to buy food is a 90-minute drive away in Pine Falls, he said.
Bissett is about 165 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.
Wynne was woken by a phone call around 3 a.m. Wednesday morning telling him about the blaze, after somebody who lived nearby heard crackling and called the fire department.
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"They said the store was on fire. When we got there, it was flames coming out through the walls and from the roof, the total length of the building," he said.
When the fire was extinguished, almost nothing was left, he said.
"Just totally, totally flat and the only thing that you can see on there is everything that was metal," he said. "… It's a mess."
Wynne and his family still don't know what caused the fire. The incident is being investigated by the fire commissioner, he said.
They hope to rebuild as soon as possible.
In the meantime, Wynne said they're planning to convert a portion of their other business, a combination gas station and hardware store, into a temporary grocery store. He hopes to have it open in the next couple days.