Nova Scotia

Abandoned parish hall in New Waterford destroyed by fire

An abandoned building in New Waterford, N.S., has burned to the ground.

Fire chief says the cause of the fire is undetermined

The Carmel Centre in New Waterford, N.S., has been abandoned since it closed in 2018. (George Mortimer/CBC)

An abandoned building in New Waterford, N.S., has burned to the ground.

The New Waterford Fire Department was called to a blaze at the Carmel Centre around 2:45 a.m. AT on Friday, said fire Chief Matt Hawley.

"Upon arriving on scene, there was smoke coming from every orifice of the building," he said in an interview. "We gained entry, but I had to pull the guys back because it was fully involved inside."

Hawley said the centre had been vacant for a long time and he wasn't confident in the integrity of the building. No one was injured.

The centre used to be home to several non-profit organizations. (Submitted)

Nearly a dozen firefighters responded to the incident and were on scene until about 10 a.m., Hawley said.

The cause of the fire is undetermined and there won't be any further investigation, he said.

"We had to bring in an excavator to tear it down because it was unsafe leaving it the way it was," said Hawley. 

The Carmel Centre had been the hall for the nearby Parish of Saint Leonard. The church was not damaged by the fire. 

Slated for demolition

Cape Breton Regional Municipality Coun. Darren O'Quinn, who represents District 11, told CBC News the Carmel Centre has been closed since 2018 and was going to be demolished sometime this year.

The building used to be home to several non-profit organizations, but shut down after the society that looked after it couldn't secure funding.

The Carmel Centre Society wanted to renovate the building and turn it into a community health clinic. The Nova Scotia government later funded a new health clinic in New Waterford that was built on a different site. 

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