What’s left of the Pinantan General Store remains behind a police tape with a security guard on duty as residents feel the loss of their local gathering place.
Store owner Cory George says he plans to rebuild the store — burned to the ground in a fire last week — “no ifs, ands or buts.”
George had recently made improvements to the building. No one was hurt in the fire but the site is a pile of rubble, and occasional wafts of smoke were still coming from it over the weekend.
The fire has raised the issue of fire protection for Pinantan once again. The community has a truck it obtained from the McLure Fire Department but has no fire hall, which is necessary to keep it housed and operational year round.
George is a director on the Paul Lake volunteer fire department. The community took delivery of the truck two years ago when McLure obtained a new unit and donated the old one to Pinantan.
George and other community members received basic training on the truck but to establish a fully operational fire service would require taxation to fund a hall, training and call outs. Residents have discussed fundraising instead to obtain the money, with estimates ranging from $30,000 to $200,000 for the hall and equipment.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District board of directors voted last week to lobby for federal gas tax funds to be made available for community fire departments.