Damage being assessed after fire at Mendel
Toronto – Building inspectors and insurance adjusters were on the scene of Saskatoon’s Mendel Art Gallery yesterday after an early-morning fire spread smoke throughout the gallery, including the storage vault for its permanent collection of 5,000 paintings, sculpture and other artifacts. No art was burned in the blaze, which was extinguished less than a half-hour after it started just before 3 a.m. CT Monday.
Fire inspectors have yet to pinpoint the cause of the fire, but a Mendel spokesperson said it’s believed a unit heater by the gallery’s loading dock ignited something combustible there.
Damage to the 42-year-old building has been estimated at $10,000 but as yet there’s been no determination of smoke damage to the art.
Last year, the gallery launched a campaign for an $18-million renovation and expansion, in part to remedy its lack of storage space and proper environmental controls.