A witness to the fatal mall collapse in Elliot Lake says he's not surprised mall owner Bob Nazarian has faced some tough questions during his testimony at the public inquiry there.

After more than a week of sometimes heated exchanges, the owner of the Algo Centre Mall finished his testimony at the inquiry on Wednesday. The inquiry has been underway in the community since March.

It was created to report on events surrounding the mall roof’s collapse on June 23, 2012, the deaths of Lucie Aylwin and Doloris Perizzolo, the injuries to others and the emergency management response.

On the day the roof collapsed, mall jewelry store owner Yves Berube had just stepped outside for a quick break when a section of the roof crashed — just meters from his store.


Yves Berube, a jewelry store owner at the Elliott Lake Mall said when the floor collapsed it took off the front of his store. (Amy Dodge/CBC)

He said he has been attempting to watch some of Nazarian’s testimony.

"I think that they have been laying into him, and probably well deserved," he said. "But I also think that it goes all the way back down the line. He’s not the only one who didn’t want to put the money into it ... whether he had it or not."

Berube will also speak at the commission as he is one of several eye witnesses who will testify next week as the inquiry moves on to an examination of the rescue efforts in the days after the mall roof fell.

The jewelry store owner has since reopened his business in Elliot Lake's downtown.