Explosion at machine shop in Stewiacke investigated
Multiple fire crews battle flames at BJ Electric Motor and Control Ltd.
Fire investigators in Stewiacke, N.S., are trying to determine what caused a fire that ripped through a heavy machine shop and forced the evacuation of multiple homes on Saturday morning.
RCMP Cpl. Addie McCallum said the call came in around 4:30 a.m. about a fire at BJ Electric Motor and Control Ltd. on George Street.
Two buildings burned to the ground, another is damaged. About 20 homes on George and Lewis streets had to be evacuated because of the dangerous smoke.
The town’s deputy fire chief Mark Crozier said heavy equipment including motors, transformers and acetylene torches in the buildings reacted with the fire.
"When I rolled up on scene, there was large explosions, and the quote was, it was like a war zone and a lot of fire. There was one building already consumed by fire. It was pretty chaotic with the explosions and trying to get set up at the time," he said.
There are no reports of injuries.
BJ Electric said the work will be moved into a temporary facility and all 20 employees will keep their jobs.
"We have an automotive garage down the street and we also have a storage facility down the street that we plan on emptying out so we'll be setting up temporary offices and a small repair place, not the larger stuff, but we're looking at getting a temporary building for that too until things are brought back because we have a big clientele and we want to keep that," said sales manager Lee Lynds.
The fire is under investigation.