CALGARY, Alberta – A crew responded to a call around 11:30 a.m. about a fire in a strip mall on the 300 block of 54th Ave SE in Foothills Industrial district in Calgary’s southeast. The west end unit on the strip, occupied by The Calculators & More Superstore, had its windows blown out and was fully engulfed in flames.
According to time lapse parking lot surveillance video, there were 32 people (5 kids, 27 adults) in the establishment at the time of the explosion. The kids escaped safely, but the adults, all unemployed engineers, are missing and presumed deceased.
An eye witness, who was refuelling her vehicle at a gas station kitty corner to the calculator superstore warehouse, spoke to 2P News’ Dr. Darcy Flowman on the scene.
“While in the car wash I could see some smoke behind the store and heard some moderately loud popping sounds coming from the same area. But I thought it might have just been some of those middle-aged nerds who I always see around here playing around with firecrackers. Then, a few minutes later as I was filling up I heard a massive boom and the roof blew off that muthafucker! I saw 3 grown men run out with 5 children, then one man ran back into the burning building yelling, ‘No, not my HP 48GX!!”
The man did not return from the burning building. Relatives said he died trying to save the only thing he ever really loved.
The 5 children were taken to hospital suffering from mild smoke inhalation. Two stray cats known to call the business home have still not been located, and 25 adults, all engineers, are missing.
“This is one of the worst industrial areas explosions I’ve seen in a long time. According to in-store surveillance footage, it is safe to say that the men did not survive – they were far too well-upholstered to have waddled out in time. So our rescue priority is on the cats. We have both CPS HAWCS choppers in the air and 5 ground-based bylaw vehicles searching for the felines as I speak to you. We also ask the those in the vicinity to keep the cats in their prayers as they keep an eye out for them.” – Dick Cummingsloe, Fire Chief
Although the cause of the explosion is under investigation, CFD investigators believe that a repair technician at the store was in the middle of adding 3D graphing capabilities and Cauchy Residue Theory functionality to a Yi-Feng $1.99 dollar store calculator just before the building exploded. The Calgary Police Department is offering a $1,000 reward for any information leading to the safe return of the cats.