New Brunswick

Bouctouche anxious to rebuild farmers market after suspicious fire

People in Bouctouche are anxious to see the town's farmers market rebuilt after it was destroyed by fire in mid-July.

Weekend market, now being held in make-shift tents, 'not the same,' residents say

People in Bouctouche are anxious to see the town's farmers market rebuilt after it was destroyed by fire in mid-July.

Charred wood and twisted metal is all that remained of the Bouctouche Farmers Market following a suspicious fire on July 15. (Emilie Vallieres/Radio-Canada)
The weekend market is currently being held in tents as the investigation into the suspicious blaze continues.

Area residents, like Susan LeBlanc, say the make-shift venue is a shadow of its former self.

"It's not the same," she said.

"That's where all the activities take place and that's where everybody gathers."

Fellow resident Larry Landry agrees.

"It was a gathering place, it was a place where people came together, enjoyed good food and socialized, for sure," he said.

Vendors set sights on next summer

Janelle LeBlanc, president of the market committee, acknowledges "the atmosphere is a bit gone."

But with only a few weeks left in the season, she says vendors are looking forward to next year.

LeBlanc is confident the downtown market will be rebuilt.

"Oh yes. It only took six weeks to build the original building, and they were not contractors. I mean, [these were] people that didn't know how to … use a measuring tape. I taught them. And we built it in six weeks.

"So no, no, it can be done for next summer," she said.

LeBlanc says she's hopeful vendors and area residents will all get involved and rebuild something the entire community can embrace once again.

In the meantime, she is encouraging residents to show their support.

"We need the community to come out," she said. "We have three Saturdays left, so everybody that has not been to the market this summer, it's going to be a nice … this coming Saturday. So just come on in and visit," she said.

"You don't have to buy, but just support the vendors, please."

All of the vendors except one stayed on after the devastating fire.

Police were called to the site on Irving Boulevard on July 15, at about 2:20 a.m. The building was already fully engulfed when crews arrived on the scene. Charred wood and twisted metal are all that remained.

Some nearby properties were also damaged.

RCMP deemed the fire suspicious from the beginning, but are still investigating the cause.

Anyone with information is asked to call the RCMP at 506-523-4611, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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