New Brunswick

Firefighters strained after recent N.B. fires

New Brunswick firefighters say they're feeling strained after a string of dramatic fires around the province this month.

New Brunswick firefighters say they’re feeling strained after a string of dramatic fires around the province in recent weeks.

On Wednesday night, four departments responded to a huge fire at the 104-year-old Enterprise Fawcett foundry building in Sackville.

Sackville Mayor Pat Estabrooks said she heard the explosions and watched the flames shooting through the roof of the historic enterprise foundry.

The foundry was still producing wood stoves, and furnaces and employed about 60 people.

"It's a huge loss, both to the company but also to the family and to the community because you know jobs aren't always so available in small communities so it's a huge loss because we've lost a building that employed people," Estabrooks told CBC News.

Fire Chief Craig Bowser said once the call came in, they had to immediately call in help.

"I have about eight or 10 fire trucks," Bowser said. "I have four departments — a tanker from River Hebert, a tanker from Point de Bute, a tanker from Dorchester and our fleet from Sackville."

In the past month, firefighters from across New Brunswick have had to work together with big fires in Rogersville, Waterside and Saint John.

A one-storey building containing the municipal hall, fire station and RCMP offices in Rogersville was destroyed in a fire on Jan. 9.

Another fire destroyed the historic Inn on the Cove and Spa in Saint John.

As well, the Waterside Baptist Church, which is near Riverside-Albert, was destroyed by a fire after being hit by lightning on Jan. 13.

Raymond LeBlanc is the fire chief from Memramcook and also president of the New Brunswick Fire Chiefs Association.

He said one fire in a small location puts pressure on the entire region.

"My guys from Memramcook went into Dorchester because they emptied their hall to go to mutual aid to Sackville, so I took one of my trucks and a few members and went to Dorchester for standby while they were at the Sackville fire."

LeBlanc said fire chiefs from across New Brunswick will meet next weekend in Moncton and the rash of big fires will be discussed.

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