Friday, March 06, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead March 5, 2009

There of course was really only one story anyone wanted to know about in the pages of the Daily News on Thursday, Wednesday night's blaze in the downtown core that finally seems to have brought to an end the era of the Inlander Hotel.

INFERNO AT THE INLANDER-- With a New York tabloid type headline, the Daily News began its coverage of Wednesday's fire, with the entire front page dedicated to the story complete with a half page picture of the fire at it's most involved point. The front page story recounted the time frame of the fire, the assembled hundreds who stood along neighbouring streets and alleys to view the blaze and interviews with both bystanders and former residents of the downtown residence hotel.

Some history of the building was provided as well tracing its development from the early 1900's, when a number of hotels such as the Talbot rooms and St. Elmo Hotel were added on to the Inlander structure accounting for it's labyrinth like blue print. From it's early beginnings to its most recent state and controversy the decades provided more than a few stories about one of Prince Rupert's most talked about buildings.

17 firefighters attended to the fire downtown, as well as numerous members of the RCMP, ambulance service and BC Hydro and city work crews. There was no official estimate of the size of the crowd that stood throughout the downtown area, but the steady stream of foot traffic and vehicles heading into town on Wednesday night provides an indication that the fire morphed into one of those community events that many will be talking about for years to come.

The Daily added a photo section on page eleven with more views of the destruction of the long time downtown landmark.

Elswhere in the paper but perhaps overlooked with the focus on the fire was a page three story on the upcoming Job fair set for March 6th.

And over in the sports section a contributed feature on the UFC and a review of the next project for the Prince Rupert Rapids appears on page six.

What appears to be a new sponsored page feature debuted on page seven. Featuring an entire page dedicated to motor racing with what seems to be a Nascar update outlining the upcoming Kobalt Tools 500. The page is sponsored by Canadian Tire which is heavily involved in the Nascar brand in Canada, it will be interesting to see if there is enough of a car culture in Prince Rupert to make the feature a must read.

While there are a few car aficionados in the city as can be seen on Seafest weekend, there doesn't seem to be the same intense interest in racing locally, as there is further inland in Terrace, Prince George and the Peace areas.

Total pages for Thursday's paper (14)

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