Two local businesses have been forced to temporarily close their doors after this morning’s fire at the Hungry Pug Cafe.

Michelle Livingston is the owner of Island Girl Kenora at 309 Second Street South, located next to the Hungry Pug, and she explains what she was dealing with early this morning.

“My store was full of smoke and my basement was full of water. I’ll see more of the smoke damage once I air out the building and see what happens. But I feel horrible for the owner of the Hungry Pug and Sue who owns the building next door. I’m still in shock. It’s too close to home.”

Livingston says Island Girl is closed until further notice, as is Poplar + Birch at 213 Matheson Street South. Their storefront was located within the same building as the Hungry Pug but the building was saved by Kenora firefighters at the scene.

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“There are no words,” said Owner Ashley McKay, on social media. “My heart goes out to the local businesses affected. Now is the time to shop local. You can purchase gift cards online to use for a later date.”

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As of the time of writing, a GoFundMe fundraiser to support the owner and staff of the Hungry Pug has grown to over $15,000. You can find a link to donate HERE.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Kenora OPP immediately at 1-888-310-1122, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).