New Brunswick

Fire in downtown Sackville displaces tenants, including university students

Everyone in building was safe and had accommodation for the night, Town of Sackville says.

Mount Allison University offers housing and support to affected students

Justin Pauley said the rear of the heritage building that his family has owned for 30 years is a total loss. (Justin Pauley/Contributed)

A fire in Sackville on Tuesday night displaced university students and other tenants from a building in the downtown core.

Sackville Fire Chief Craig Bowser said nine people were left homeless by the fire, which was reported at about 9 p.m.

The fire was near Bridge and Main streets between the Royal Bank and Vogue Theatre in a building with a business, Nabi Sushi on the main floor and apartments on the second and third floors.

"Upon arrival we were met with heavy smoke and flame," Bowser said.

Bowser said the face of the building is on Bridge Street and the rear is on Willow Lane, which is where extensive damage occurred. The building sustained both smoke and fire damage.  

A fire in downtown Sackville displaced several tenants, including university students. (Wade Perry/Submitted)
Some smoke got into two neighbouring buildings, a bank and a law firm, but the damage was not serious. He was unsure if the businesses would be opening Wednesday.

Sackville Fire Department were assisted by fire departments from Amherst, Dorchester and Point de Bute. 

"There were approximately 50 firefighters on scene with four different departments," Bowser said.

The fire was out by about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Firefighters used a ladder truck to reach the top of the building. Photos from the scene show thick smoke and a crowd of onlookers. 

Bowser said the fire marshal would look at the fire scene Wednesday to start to determine the cause of the fire.

He added as of now the building is uninhabitable and tenants cannot return. 

Justin Pauley, of D&S Realty, the  owner of the heritage building said in Facebook post Wednesday, "While we are absolutely heartbroken at the loss of our building, our thoughts are with our tenants."

"As the building owners, our primary concern was with the safety of our tenants and all others who were involved." 

Justin Pauley said they are thankful the building was evacuated immediately and safely. (Contributed/Justin Pauley)
The Town of Sackville said in a social media post late Tuesday night that the fire had been brought under control, and everyone in the building was safe and had accommodations for the night. 

Mount Allison University also posted on social media that the fire affected off-campus student housing. They said they had ensured the students who lived there have housing and additional support if they need it.

Sackville Fire and Rescue thanked other fire departments for their help, NB Power. RCMP, and Ambulance New Brunswick in a social media post. .

"A stubborn one for sure but everyone is safe," the post said.

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