Downtown Prince George business owners expressed shock following the explosion Wednesday at the former Achillion Greek Restaurant on Fourth Avenue and Dominion Street.
“We are grateful for the quick response from fire and police and the support coming from the City of Prince George and our community. Earlier today much of the downtown had been cordoned off to ensure that the response to this fire was unhampered. It appears that the fire itself has been dealt with and now our businesses are left to deal with the aftermath,” said Eoin Foley, the president of Downtown Prince George and owner of several downtown businesses.
Downtown Prince George said several businesses in that immediate area will remain closed as the power and gas have been shut off to ensure no further incidents. Many more businesses will have much longer lasting effects as they deal with shattered windows, damaged interiors, and lost merchandise.
“This is heart-wrenching to see how instantly this incident impacted our downtown. Many people, businesses, shops, restaurants, and service providers started their day very differently than they expected”, said Colleen Van Mook, executive director of Downtown Prince George.
“Fourth Avenue, often described as Specialty Avenue, has been hit the hardest and it pains me to think they were all in the midst of hosting a fabulous block party this coming Saturday. Now they are faced with repairing windows and cleaning up their shops and restaurants. We hope the community will be there when they open their doors again.”
Downtown Prince George said merchants are showing their resilience and commitment and passion as they clear up the mess and get ready for a new day.
“We know the community will be patient and do what they can to support our business.”
Prince George RCMP say the investigation remains ongoing and updates will be provided as they become available and are asking anyone with video footage of the explosion to contact the detachment.
Police have closed the area of Third Avenue to Fifth Avenue from George Street to Dominion Street. No vehicle or pedestrian traffic is allowed within that perimeter.