Richard Barrow has fought fires with the Nackawic Fire Department for forty years. In all that time he has never battled one like he did Monday morning.
“On our our own house it’s a different story altogether. Just devastating to come down here and see that,” he said.
Nackawic Fire Chief William Hopkins says it was around 7:30am when one of his younger firefighters gave him a call to tell him that someone drove a truck into the fire hall and it was on fire.
“He said I need to get the firefighters here so we called dispatch to have them dispatched and we called mutual aid dispatch to give them a hand,” said Chief Hopkins.
The building is significantly damaged both inside and outside. The group of firefighters was able to save one of the fire trucks – the rest are basically ruined according to Hopkins – along with other equipment. Equipment they had purchased with the community’s help via fund raisers and monthly breakfasts.
“It’s quite disheartening to see your building on fire and all the equipment on fire,” said Chief Hopkins.
Leo Langteigne was one of the first to get on site and see the building in flames.
“I don’t know what to tell you, you just don’t believe it’s really happening,” he said.
No one was injured in the fire except for one firefighter who was treated for smoke inhalation and released. The RCMP arrested the 56-year-old man who was behind the wheel for impaired driving. He’s in custody and charges are pending. They haven’t released his name. Looking at the devastating scene, community members can’t believe it.
“Terrible,” said Liz Dentremont.
“This really hits home,” said Barrow.
As the investigation continues, Barrow says the cleanup process for this fire department will be long – as they go through their inventory and decide what needs replacing. But that won’t stop them from doing their job – in the meantime they’ll use equipment from other stations. The building also serves as the town office. Hopkins says those who work in there have set up temporary offices elsewhere.