Boiestown nursing home struck by falling power pole
Fire chief says it's lucky no fire started from fallen line carrying 7,200 volts of electricity
High winds in Boiestown on Sunday brought down power lines and caused a utility pole to fall on part of the Central New Brunswick nursing home.
Fire crews arrived at the scene late Sunday afternoon to find the pole had hit the corner of the nursing home.
Nursing home administrator Manley Black said the falling utility pole clipped the building.
"There's a back entry way there, and it knocked some trim boards off the entry way there, and dropped one corner, kind of," he said. "There's just plywood, there's nothing out there covering an entry way.
"There was a door opened at the back of the nursing home there, and a screen door on there, and when it come down it broke that door off," he said.
A car in the adjacent parking area came in contact with electricity and had a tire blown and its engine damaged from the electrical current.
"Fire flew out of the transformers and oil came out of them and the lines were down across four vehicles," said Michael Ross, a firefighter with the Upper Miramichi Fire Department. "One vehicle was sitting there and there was a big bang and fire was under it and it blew the tires off of the vehicle and it was really scary."
"It was lucky it didn't start a fire because we wouldn't have been able to do anything because there was 7,200 volts of power going in there, the hydro guys told us," said Ross.
The building was evacuated by staff and firefighters. Residents were taken to a nearby elementary school, after initially being placed at a gazebo behind the facility.
"We decided we'd take them to the elementary school because there was a chance of rain and a few things,." said Black. "Anyway, they said it was about 20 or 22 minutes from the time it happened until we had them at the elementary school."
People were allowed back into the building a short time later. The building was placed on emergency generator power while crews made repairs.
Elsewhere in the province, high winds and heavy rain downed other lines and at least one other broken utility pole knocked out power for about 18 hundred customers for much of the afternoon and evening.