At 7:30 pm last evening, Thursday, January 20, the front wall of the Rainbow Inn office went up in flames. Residents at the scene described it as a quick ignition of fire without any explosion. The more popular suspicion is the large display of Christmas lights adorning the frontage of the office being the likely cause. This is mere speculation however as the fire scene investigators still need to do their work. (Update: The investigators have determined the cause. A fridge and its placement. See HERE.
The owners, according to residents, are away in India and the only person in the office at the time of the fire was the caretaker, Jim, who escaped while the flames were leaping off the front of the building. He went to Mills Memorial for smoke inhalation care. One witness described the potential for serious loss of life had the family of the owners been home. As she saw Jim barely escape, running out through the flames shouting expletives, she imagined what could have happened if the other eight residents had been inside, further back in the building.
The highway west of Terrace was blocked to traffic for hours as the Terrace Fire Department had their trucks and hoses spread across the roadway while fighting the flames and ensuring the fire was completely out.