City fire chief Greg Hankkio is expected to address the media later Thursday afternoon.
THUNDER BAY – Political leaders across Ontario have reacted with sadness after learning that the Finnish labor temple has been devastated by fire.
Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu, also Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior-North, was among the first elected officials to respond.
“My heart goes out to the community. A cultural icon rooted in the history of our region. An irreplaceable loss. I will always cherish my memories of this place where so many people came together to share their lives, ”Hajdu tweeted Thursday morning.
Ontario Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford also responded on social media.
“(A) tragic moment in Thunder Bay and the Northwest with the news of the @finlandiaclub and Hoito on fire last night – thoughts for the community on the impact on this iconic club and its history – take good care of yourself, ”Rickford wrote.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford also expressed his condolences, although his first attempt included #NorthBay, a mistake he quickly corrected.
“Very told to find out about this devastating fire. Thank you to all the first responders who acted quickly. My hearts are with everyone affected at #ThunderBay,” Ford tweeted.
Liberal leader Steven Del Duca also weighed in on Twitter.
“I am so sorry to see the Finnish Labor Temple in Thunder Bay on fire tonight. I hope they will be able to save this iconic building, and my thoughts are with the community tonight, ”said Del Duca.
New Democrat MP Judith Monteith-Farrell (Thunder Bay-Atikokan) also expressed her sadness at the loss of the city.
“#tbay has suffered a significant cultural loss – tonight the historic Finnish labor temple is ablaze. Thanks to the first responders – the firefighters, police (and) EMS working in this cold weather. My thoughts are with those whose the heart is broken tonight, ”she tweeted.
At the local level, Northwood Coun. Shelby Ch’ng was among those who expressed shock at the blaze.
“I am so sad for our community right now. Such a tragic loss of architecture, history and culture, ”Ch’ng wrote on his Instagram account.
Thunder Bay Fire Chief Greg Hankkio will speak to the media about the blaze Thursday afternoon.