New Brunswick

Fire destroys St. John the Baptist church in Edmundston

A church in Edmundston, N.B., built in the 1880s was destroyed by a fire that broke out early Saturday morning.

Crews battled blaze for about 2 hours, but there was no hope of saving the Anglican church

A fire destroyed an historic church in Edmundston, N.B., on Saturday morning.

The city's entire fire department — about 35 people — responded to the call, which came in around 4:40 a.m. local time.

Crews battled the blaze for about two hours, but there was no hope of saving the Anglican Church of St. John the Baptist, on Church Street near Costigan Street.

“It was burning really hard. The only thing we do know is that it started from outside of the building, can’t say much more than that. The building is lost, pretty much. Right now the fire marshal is on site and he is trying to determine the cause of the fire,” said Edmundston spokesperson Mychèle​ Poitras.

The church was built in 1873 and classified as a historical site in 1991. The building was still used as a church, but was empty at the time of the fire. 

Poitras said this is the second fire in the same area in the past two weeks. The former church hall, destroyed by fire earlier this month, was a centre for Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

With files from The Canadian Press