Nightclub fire damage estimated at $2M
Damage from an early morning fire at a Saskatoon nightclub is estimated at $2 million, the city’s fire department says.
Emergency crews responded to the blaze at Matriarch Nightclub and Event Centre — recently rebranded from Saskatoon Events Centre — at the corner of 33rd Street East and Alberta Avenue shortly before 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Smoke was shooting from the building when firefighters arrived, and, at one point, firefighters worried the roof may collapse.
“Obviously there is a fair amount of concern when we have fire above us. There's always the potential for a collapse," Asst. Chief Wayne Rodger told reporters on scene.
Crews needed nearly three hours to control the flames.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, according to Saskatoon police.
Police said in a news release sent shortly after noon the incident was being investigated as arson, but the service issued a correction a few hours later.
Officers “are not investigating this incident as an arson at this time,” the correction read.
The bar’s owner, Rose Buscholl, took over the space in October.
“This business was supposed to be my livelihood,” she said. “I worked hard for this and I just don’t know where it’s going now.”
She was devastated to see the flames.
“My heart sunk. It was — I don’t know — almost like it wasn’t real,” Buscholl said.
Traffic was restricted in the area as crews battled the fire.
The space was previously known as Tequila Nightclub and Ryly’s prior to the most recent names.
CORRECTION: A police media release sent early Tuesday afternoon stated “early indications of the cause of fire has lead to an arson investigation,” but a correction issued hours later stated officers “are not investigating this incident as an arson at this time.”