Man drives truck into Nackawic town hall, ignites fire

A Monday morning fire has damaged Nackawic’s municipal building, fire hall and a few vehicles.

Municipal building also housed the fire hall

A man is under arrest after driving his pick-up truck into the Nackawic municipal building and igniting a fire that damaged the building and several fire trucks.

The fire started between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. 

The town’s fire chief said a man drove his truck right into the building and that caused the fire.

The RCMP arrested the 56-year-old Nackawic man for impaired driving and say charges are pending.

The RCMP, the province's Office of the Fire Marshall and the Emergency Measures Organization are assisting in the investigation.

Witnesses say the fire was burning for about 90 minutes before it was finally extinguished.

One firefighter was sent to the hospital on Monday because of smoke inhalation. The firefighter was released on Monday afternoon.

Three fire trucks were damaged in the blaze.

One fire official estimated the fire caused $1.5 million in damages to the department’s fire trucks.

Peter Cole, who owns a nearby bed and breakfast, was one of roughly 50 people who gathered at the scene to watch the fire.

“I saw a pickup truck that was totally destroyed, burned and one fire truck that was mostly burned and then the second fire truck that looks pretty bad,” he said.

“But apparently what I’ve heard from a couple people at the scene was one fire truck was maybe salvageable, the other one is good and the pick-up truck is totalled.”

Cole said there are five or six fire trucks there from neighbouring departments.

Several nearby communities have loaned equipment to the Nackawic volunteer fire department to ensure the village has fire protection.

Tobique-Mactaquac MP Mike Allen said federal government help to replace the damaged vehicles is a possibility.

"We'll have to see when the insurance kicks in and if there's dollars required after that, then we'll keep our ears open and be sympathetic to the cause and what type of things need to be done," Allen said.

"I'm sure if we need to partner with the province to go forward, I'll have to put my oar in the water and make a pitch for the town."