Pelham business destroyed in fire

Dave Johnson Photo - Pelham volunteer firefighters battle a fire at 595 Balfour St. Saturday afternoon.

Dave Johnson Photo – Pelham volunteer firefighters battle a fire at 595 Balfour St. Saturday afternoon.

A Pelham business on Balfour St. was destroyed by fire Saturday afternoon, said Pelham Fire Services Chief Bob Lymburner

Firefighters were called out at 12:45 p.m. for the report of a barn fire, and smoke from the blaze was visible from Hwy. 58 just past Stonebridge Rd. in Port Colborne.

Lymburner said the fire was inside at barn-style building at 595 Balfour St., which housed a business run by the homeowner, an engineer.

The business, according to a search of the address, is home to Shoalts Engineering, owned by Mark Shoalts, and Shoalts Brothers Construction Ltd.

Lymburner said the homeowner and his wife were home all day.

“It doesn’t look anything suspicious at this point and we’ll continue to dig into it once the fire is under control,” the chief said at 2 p.m.

Thirty-five Pelham firefighters were on scene, and three water portable tanks were set up at the end of the home’s driveway. Water was being shuttled to scene from a fire hydrant at Pelham Station 2 on Welland Rd., just a couple of kilometres from the scene.

There was a pond on the property, but Lymburner said the fire service usually stays away from drawing pond water for a fire.

“We suck up so much dirt, it ends up ruining our systems.”

Winds caused the fire to fire jump into a nearby woodlot, and fire crews were in the bush bringing a few hotspots under control.

Niagara EMS paramedics were on standby at the scene, and Niagara Regional Police had Balfour St. blocked between Sumbler and Chantler Rds.

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