It was going to be a good day, until a call just after 7 a.m. changed everything for Melody Ellerby.
Around 7 a.m. a fire broke out at the Sylvan Lake attraction Lakeside Go Karts, and destroyed much of the business.
Because of the gasoline kept on the property for the go karts, the fire spread quickly.
Ellerby said she received the call from her husband shortly after 7 a.m. explaining what was happening.
“I think what went through my head was just ‘No way. You’ve got to be kidding,’” Ellerby said in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon.
She has spent the day in a bit of a daze watching as the Sylvan Lake Fire Department battled the blaze, and speaking with well wishers.
“I’ve been here since about 7:20 a.m. and I’ve really just been standing here and watching. Watching the amazing firemen do a wonderful job. Unfortunately it was too late to save anything,” she said.
Aug. 18 was supposed to be a hot day, perfect to draw in the crowd to play a round of mini golf or a few laps in a go kart.
Ellerby she had plans to send work schedules to new employees and sit down for a coffee break with current employees.
“We have had a lot of support from our employees and family. We’ve had family drive in from Edmonton, Red Deer, Eckville to help us,” she said.
She continued saying the employees at Lakeside Go Karts are “really just great.”
All day, Ellerby has seen an outpouring of support from the community.
She says many people have called, message and stopped by to offer their heartfelt condolences, or asking to help in any way.
The support given to Ellerby and her staff have been overwhelming, she says.
“I never expected this much support. I guess it just shows how much everyone cares.”
She said many people have stopped by with food and drink, and offers to bring by supper later in the day.
“I just want to give my heartfelt thanks to everyone for the prayers, for the water and muffins and for the offers of help. Thank you,” said Ellerby.
What happens next is still up in the air, and Ellerby says a lot will depend on what happens with insurance.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Sylvan Lake Fire Department were at the scene early Tuesday morning dousing the fire at the popular attraction.
While the fire crews were at work, traffic was rerouted. The street was reopened to vehicle traffic by noon on Aug. 18.
“I’ve been pretty calm through this all surprisingly. I’ve had the peace of God with my and the support of so many,” Ellerby said.