New Millville fire station expected by winter, chief says

Millville Fire Chief Justin McGuigan hopes to have the village's fire station replaced by early winter, with the support of the community and all levels of government.

Support of community and 3 levels of government will help replace building destroyed by arson

Two New Brunswick fire departments, destroyed by fire earlier this summer are thanking their local communities for their support. Donations and fundraisers have helped to get Millville and Nackawic back on their feet. But as Caroline Gdyczynski reports, more support is needed. 2:13

Millville Fire Chief Justin McGuigan hopes to have the village's fire station replaced by early winter, with the support of the community and all levels of government.

A fire last month destroyed the fire hall and most of its equipment.

"It was a real slap in the face to lose the building [to fire] and to see [the community] supporting us now is a real encouragement," said McGuigan.

Millville Fire Chief Justin McGuigan says the damage from last month's fire is in excess of $1 million. (CBC)
About $10,000 has been donated to date and fundraisers are also being planned in the coming days and weeks, he said.

"We're well in excess of $1 million [in damages] at this point in time," said McGuigan. "We were trying to kind of lay low and be a little bit conservative at the first but you know, it's clear now that once we add up the numbers, we're looking at over $1 million to get everything reestablished here in the village."

The department has commitments from the municipal, provincial and federal governments to "help us decide exactly what direction we should go in and to help supply the funding to help us achieve that," he said.

Fire services are temporarily operating out of a Department of Transportation building with equipment loaned by neighbouring communities.

But provincial road crews will need the building back by the winter and the fire trucks need to be in a heated facility, said McGuigan.

"We are getting a little bit nervous about the fact it will be done before winter. I know myself and some of the guys, we've been talking about options on how we might encroach in on the winter a little bit," said McGuigan.

"Before the heavy winter hits, we'll have a new home for the apparatus and the equipment."

The criminal investigation into the July 28 early morning blaze, which is considered suspicious, is ongoing, said McGuigan.

"Once we found evidence of arson that day, all of that information gets handed over to the RCMP and they take the investigation from that point forward. Any comment from that point forward, I would leave to those guys," he said.

The destroyed building also housed the village hall and a seniors' centre.

Meanwhile, the suspect in the fire that destroyed the fire hall in nearby Nackawic one week before the Millville fire is expected to appear in court on Aug. 22.

Edwin Bradley, 56, has been undergoing a 30-day psychiatric assessment.