A Yonge Street medical office fire could have been much worse if passersby hadn’t alerted emergency services.
A fire that began in a second floor dental office at 505 Yonge St. shortly after 7 p.m. Monday is still under investigation, but Barrie’s fire prevention officer, Samantha Hoffmann, is impressed with the couple who alerted occupants who were in the building at Dr. Scott Macpherson’s dental office, the Barrie Family Medicine Clinic and Guardian Drugs, to the fire.
“People saw him pull the fire alarm and then he left the building to call 911,” she said. “But when they (the couple) saw people weren’t coming out, they ran back in and told people to get out.
“I’d like to get the message out that if someone pulls an alarm, leave the building. Don’t wait to see if there’s smoke or fire first.”
Pic From Structure Fire on Yonge st at Medical Building #Barrie , Photo thanks to Vanessa Partridge pic.twitter.com/Njq7QvUp1o
— Barrie 411 (@Barrie411) March 21, 2016
Fire at 505 Yonge St is out. Crews doing overhaul. @BarriePFFA Investigator called in to determine cause.
— Barrie Fire (@Barrie_Fire) March 22, 2016
Both the dental office and walk-in clinic were closed Tuesday morning and Barrie firefighters are questioning whether a neon window sign is to blame, said Hoffmann.
“Investigators are on-scene, still digging it out,” Hoffmann said late Tuesday afternoon.
Insurance adjusters estimate the damage to the building to be in the neighbourhood of $250,000, but that doesn’t include dental and medical office equipment, Hoffmann said.
One Barrie firefighter was taken to hospital with a minor shoulder injury; he was checked and released.
Dr Macpherson dental office patients asked to call 705-739-7856 for info after office fire Monday night. pic.twitter.com/cRHUvHFeFp
— Cheryl Browne (@cherylbrowne1) March 22, 2016
Temporary signs affixed to the main door facing Yonge Street advised patrons to visit a second location of the Barrie Family Medicine Clinic at 121 Wellington St. West for treatment.
“We’ll be closed until we can determine the extent of the damage. We’ll wait to see when it will be safe for patients and staff to return,” said Carla Robertson at the walk-in clinic, adding she’ll post updates on the clinic’s website at barriewalkinclinics.ca.
Guardian Drug pharmacist, Albert Bebawy, said he can’t close his doors to patients who need drugs.
Pointing to the wet ceiling tiles that had fallen to the floor in the aisles, Bebawy’s shop is directly beneath the dental office where the fire began.
He said he was waiting for his insurance adjuster to advise him on repair details.
“At most, we’d close for only one day,” Bebawy said.
Patients of the dental clinic who showed up for their appointments Tuesday were surprised at the soot marks on the stairs and stench of smoke as they made their way to the MacPherson’s clinic.
A note taped to the front door advised patients to call Sam at 705-739-7856 to reschedule their appointments.
A local dentist was available in case of emergency, said Sam, who didn’t want to give her last name.
However, because they couldn’t get into their office to access their computers, they didn’t know who to call and cancel appointments for – and didn’t have the phone numbers if she did – she said.