Maureen LeBourdais, the Cariboo Regional District representative for Area F, says residents are still shocked over a fire that destroyed the community’s only store, post office, pub and restaurant.
“It is tragic, both for the people of Big Lake and also for people from Likely who drive into town, and there is the gas station there and a store. The post office, of course, is a huge hit for the community as well as a locally owned business in a small community, so it’s really quite tragic and a shock. I am still learning about some of the details but I am really grateful that nobody was hurt, that is the most important thing of course.”
LeBourdais credits the fire department for saving the gas pumps, the gas tanks and propane tank.
She says one of the biggest concern she’s heard from residents is the loss of the post office.
“It’s where they picked up their mail, where they could send mail, and all the other services that are available at post offices, so there is a lot of concern. I believe for the moment those people are going to be picking up their mail in Williams Lake, I think those details are just being put into place. And it will take a little while before they know what has been lost, you know what was already at the post office that hadn’t been delivered yet, parcels perhaps and things that people have been purchasing on-line in these COVID times.”
LeBourdais says it will have to go into a different community building, perhaps the community hall where the CRD library is.
She says the other question she has been getting is will it be rebuilt.
“I don’t know yet, I haven’t spoke to the owners yet. I’m sure they’re cleaning that up and getting insurance details and gathering information, so I haven’t contacted them yet. But I will be reaching out to them later today, and then going over there tomorrow to have a look around there myself.”
LeBourdais says around 250 people live in the Big Lake community.
Fire destroyed the building on Sunday (March 7) night.