New Brunswick

'It's a sad day': Chatham fire claims Vogue Theatre

Emergency crews remain at the scene of an early-morning fire in Chatham, N.B., that has damaged multiple buildings, including Vogue Theatre.

Locals say 3 buildings damaged

An excavator knocks down Vogue Theatre in Miramichi Sunday afternoon. (Gary Moore/CBC)

Emergency crews remain at the scene of an early-morning fire in Chatham, N.B., that has damaged multiple buildings including Vogue Theatre.

The Miramichi Fire Department was called to the scene of a house fire around 4:10 a.m. near University Avenue and Duke Street, said Deputy Fire Chief Mario Berthiaume.

The house was unoccupied and no one was injured in the blaze.

When the fire department arrived, it found a home engulfed in flames and collapsing on another building.

Vogue Theatre, a focal point in the Miramichi arts community, caught fire early Sunday from the flames from another building. (Gary Moore/CBC)

A storage unit with antique cars inside also caught fire and helped fuel the flames.

The fire was so intense that Berthiaume and his crew were unable to stop it from spreading to Vogue Theatre, a focal point in the local arts community.

Berthiaume said it's too soon to comment on how the fire started.

Locals say the fire started in a vacant building on University Avenue early this morning. The building has been completely destroyed. (Dane Gunnlaugson)

A nearby apartment building was evacuated early Sunday as a precaution. 

The fire caused extensive damage inside the Vogue Theatre, the fire chief said. An excavator knocked down the theatre Sunday afternoon.

Victor Somers, a pastor in Miramichi and the owner of Vogue Theatre, is in shock from the loss of his building. (Gary Moore/CBC)

Local pastor Victor Somers purchased the Vogue Theatre in 2012 and has been renovating it since. The building was constructed in the 1950s.

Somers said the fire gutted the inside of the building and caused the roof to collapse. He's said he's still in shock. 

"The community is devastated … with the loss of this building," Somers said. 

The Vogue Theatre in Chatham is a staple of the arts community. (Victor Somers)

Richard Robichaud, who's lived in Miramichi for 52 years, said the Vogue Theatre means so much to the community. 

"I can't believe it, it's a sad day," he said. 

Sheila Dick, of Black River Bridge, noticed the fire Sunday morning when she was driving a friend home. She stayed on scene for two hours to watch the blaze and smoke afterward. 

"All I could see was just everything slowly deteriorate," Dick said. 

With files from Blair Sanderson, Cassidy Chisholm