A fire in a historic building Monday morning was not exactly how the Yorkton Fire Department would have liked to kick off Fire Prevention Week, but it did prove that when disaster does strike, Yorkton firefighters are up to the task.
“The crew that was out there today did one heck of a job putting this thing out,” said Greg Litvanyi, deputy fire chief.
It is still unclear where or how the fire started in the Canada Apartments on Third Avenue at Darlington Street, but Litvanyi said there was extensive fire and smoke damage to the structure of the building, which houses four families.
All the residents got out safely with only one having to be treated for smoke inhalation. The families are now in the hands of the Red Cross.
One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion.
Although the building does not have official historic status, Terri Levebvre-Prince, the City of Yorkton’s heritage researcher, said it definitely has historical significance.
It was originally the home of Major G. Howard Bradbrooke, who came to Yorkton in 1889. Bradbrooke originally engaged in farming and ranching, but in 1903 founded the Yorkton Supply Company—a trader of dry goods—with William Dunlop.
When Bradbrooke built the three-storey home at 161 Third Avenue North in 1911 the Yorkton Enterprise described it as “palatial.”
Bradbrooke served on Town Council from 1906 to 1910 and again from 1913 to 1914 before enlisting in the army when World War I broke out in Europe.
He was twice wounded at Vimy Ridge and was awarded a Military Cross and Distinguished Service Order in 1918. While City of Yorkton records refer to him as having been a major, a great nephew suggested he might have been a lieutenant colonel.
Upon returning to Yorkton he worked for the Department of National Revenue (now Revenue Canada) and moved to Saskatoon in 1931.