Nova Scotia

Arsons trouble Glace Bay firefighters

The nearly 200 abandoned buildings in Glace Bay are creating a huge problem for firefighters.

The nearly 200 abandoned buildings in Glace Bay are creating a huge problem for firefighters.

Glace Bay fire Chief Jim Taylor said that this week alone arsonists have set fires in five vacant buildings. 

"When we're fighting the fires, we get the comments that, you know, 'These buildings have been sealed up for quite a period of time — years in fact —and just let it burn,'" he said Friday.

"But we can't let it burn because then other neighboring houses put in claims to the insurance company, and it's just a big process and the ball rolls on. So somebody's going around and they're trying to take it in their own hands, I guess."

Taylor said the fires set in abandoned buildings put firefighters at risk and tie up resources that could be used to save lives.

"The concern is that eventually someone is going to get hurt, somebody's going to get trapped. It's a damage to equipment, to manpower, all of those things," he said.

"But the big thing to remember is not only is it a safety issue for our firefighters, but the neighbouring town here, our town itself there may be other calls that come in and if we're tied up doing calls that shouldn't happen. The resources may be tied up when they're really needed."

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality is trying its best to get rid of the buildings, Taylor said, but there are so many it will take a while to achieve that goal.

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