Fire above the Trocadero Tavern

(Updated)The latest on a fire in east Hamilton that’s damaged a landmark restaurant and nearly destroyed an apartment on the second floor.But even though the damage has been severe a woman who nearly lost everything says she feels lucky.The Trocadero has been a fixture on Barton Street since 1944, and this year they are celebrating their 70th anniversary. The fire happened in the apartment on the second floor, and it was the tenant who suffered most of the loss. But there was one item that was unharmed, and for that she is thankful.Cathy Fleitas drove back from work in Toronto with the knowledge that her apartment had caught fire. But to her there was only one thing that mattered: “All I cared about was finding my cat.”It was just after 4 this afternoon when police officer noticed smoke coming from the second floor above the Trocadero Tavern. Neighbours like Scott Able heard the fire before they say it: “It sounded just like a giant explosion, like something exploded in there.”Hamilton fire responded with ten units and managed to get, what they believe is an electrical fire under control, but there was significant damage to the front of the apartment.Claudio Mostacci, Hamilton Fire Department: “It was a stubborn fire because it was in between the floor and the ceiling so a lot of the ceiling and floor had to be removed because that’s where the fire was.”The fire was under control with around $20,000 damage to the building. The Trocadero is only open on Friday and Saturday’s, so there was no one there at the time, and there is no word if they will be open this weekend. Fire fighters began to search the apartment for the missing pet but were unsuccessful. That is until Catherine arrived home and began her own search for Tosha the cat.Eventually finding her cat Tosha hiding in the bathtub: “It’s a good part of a bad story, is that the cat was ok.”And on one of the longest days of her life, Catherine is choosing to focus on the help she has received: “Despite all of the negative of everything burning down, I’m a very lucky person.”So while she does feel lucky, the damage was done to the front of the building. You can’t really see it but just behind the Trocadero sign, it’s clear right through from the ceiling of the apartment to the floor of the restaurant as there were holes burned right through.It will be some time before they can fix that. No word of when the restaurant will open again. read more