An overnight fire destroyed the dispatch offices of Chilliwack Taxi on Sunday.
They are forging ahead with taxi service despite the fire, according to Chilliwack Taxi general manager Kuldeep Singh.
“The building is toast,” Singh told The Progress on Monday morning.
He had not slept, nor had he gone home since the fire broke out on Hocking Avenue, as staff scramble to maintain service.
Since the building was completely destroyed, they are dispatching calls from one of their taxis for the time being.
“This is how we are managing. It’s been a tough time,” Singh admitted.
Chilliwack Taxi has been around since 1947, and all the company records that they’ve maintained, as local history, since it was established, were incinerated in the fire.
“We have been part of the community for a long time, so it’s sad that the record of the company has been destroyed as well.”
Singh was about a block away from headquarters before heading home for the night on Sunday, when he heard the dispatcher screaming over the radio.
He called 911 and then as he got closer he could see smoke.
The dispatcher, who was the only one inside, managed to get out safely.
The fire broke out in the rear of the building at about 7 p.m., but the cause is not yet known.
GM Singh, who is also part owner of Chilliwack Taxi, said getting things going again in terms of dispatching calls was job one, since the fire.
“It took us an hour to resume taxi service,” said Singh. He managed to get some stuff out of the building before the flames took hold, but he couldn’t manage to get the computer servers out.
The antenna that was on the roof survived the blaze so they are still able to dispatch calls that come in by phone, at the same number they’ve always used, 604-795-9111.
One person is dispatching by radio from one of their taxis, while the other takes calls by phone.
The building was consumed by the huge flames, however Chilliwack firefighters were able to prevent the blaze from spreading to adjacent buildings.
Watch www.theprogress.com for more as it becomes available.