Shifting wind may have saved Waskesiu Lake landmark from complete destruction during fire

Tim Tran was working in the kitchen at LT’s Food and Fuel when a customer came in saying there was a fire.

“At first we thought it was a joke, but he said well, come out and see,” said Tran. “So we all ran out and right away we noticed, a big cloud of smoke was coming up from the building behind the store.”

Tran says his first concern was the nearby propane and gas tanks.

“If the fire ever catches on those two items, this whole site would blow up,” said Tran.

Lakeland & District Fire Department responded around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday to find the motel behind the restaurant fully in flames, but a shift in the wind may have saved the main building.

“The wind was actually blowing from the north, when we first arrived on scene the wind had a drastic change, and it blew from the south, away from the exposures,” said Fire Chief Chris McShannock, who thanked Waskesiu Fire Department, Buckland Fire Rescue, Montreal Lake Fire Department, OSS Water hauling and SPSA Weyakwin Fire Base for their assistance.

“Having the group of people that we did, and having four fire departments there, it made a big difference, and having those mutual aid partners assist us,” said McShannock.

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire that burned down all six units of the motel attached to LT’s Food and Fuel, a landmark for many travelling north to La Ronge or to Waskesiu.

Tran says while it was a scary incident he's grateful that nobody was hurt.

“We were very, very fortunate and grateful that the store was saved from the fire because the result from what was happening could be a lot more devastating,” said Tran.