A security guard stands behind fire-damaged hockey equipment in the parking lot behind The Hockey Shop in Surrey on Monday afternoon. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Owners of fire-damaged Surrey hockey shop vow to reopen ‘bigger, better and stronger’

Partially melted skates and helmets piled in store parking lot Monday

SURREY — Operators of The Hockey Shop vow to reopen “bigger, better and stronger than ever before” after a three-alarm fire at the store in Whalley on Saturday (Sept. 23).

“We would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming support we have received over the past few days,” store owners said in a statement posted to their Twitter account on Monday afternoon.

“To ease the minds of those concerned, we can confirm that no injuries occurred during the (fire).”

Smoke poured from the rear of the store on Saturday morning, closing the nearby Surrey Central SkyTrain station for a few hours. Also, hockey games and other activities had to be cancelled at nearby North Surrey Recreation Centre.

“At this time, the extent of the damage is unknown,” store operators stated. “We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.”

The fire at the shop was sparked as thousands of players begin the hockey season in Surrey and beyond.

On Monday, a fence surrounded the property and the back parking lot was a graveyard of fire-damaged boxes of helmets, jerseys and jackets, along with partially melted skates.

Fire investigators are looking into the cause of the blaze, which appeared to start near the rear door of the store.

“We completed the onsite investigation, but the overall investigation is still ongoing,” Surrey fire department Assistant Chief Ben Dirksen told the Now-Leader on Monday afternoon.

“Sometimes a fire like this, (the investigation) can take awhile.”

The store was once home to the popular A&B Sound music retail store. The Hockey Shop moved into the space about a decade ago, and has become a go-to retailer for hockey players and parents from around the Lower Mainland.

The store is advertised as “Western Canada’s largest hockey-specific retail store.”

On Monday, a group of workers from the nearby Marriott International hotel, which is still under construction, dropped by the store to assess the damage.

“Oh man, those are $1,000 Bauer skates right there,” said one of the men, pointing to the pile of ruined gear.

“Not anymore,” said another.

In the statement, store operators urge customers to contact them with questions via email sent to sales@thehockeyshop.com.

“We will continue to receive shipments from our suppliers without delay,” store operators stated. “Customers that have placed a special or custom order will be notified when their product has arrived. We are 100 per cent committed to getting your product to you promptly.

• READ MORE: VIDEO: Hockey shop on fire near Surrey Central SkyTrain, from Sept. 23

The shop co-owners also said “the thoughtful words of encouragement from the entire community will continue to push us forward as we work tirelessly to reopen our doors.

“The number of people that have offered to help reaffirms the character of the incredible people we encounter on a daily basis.

“We are committed to coming back bigger, better and stronger than ever before. We are optimistic that our doors will be open in 4-6 weeks, but at this point, it is too early to know for sure. Rest assured, we will be back.”

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