Nova Scotia

Fire damages multiple buildings in Canning

An early morning fire in Canning, N.S., destroyed several buildings on the main street of the small Annapolis Valley community.

Blaze originated in row of buildings on Main Street that included grocery store

A fire on Main Street in Canning, N.S., has destroyed multiple buildings. (Ray Fisher)

An early morning fire in Canning, N.S., spread to multiple buildings along the main street of the small Annapolis Valley community.

The fire broke out at around 3 a.m. Sunday.

Fire crews from multiple communities between Hantsport and Aylesford were called into help battle the blaze, a total of 75 firefighters at one point, said Canning Fire Chief Jeffrey Skaling

Two vacant buildings were destroyed and others suffered smoke and water damage.

"The buildings are usually either attached to each other or separated by a two-three foot alleyway, breezeway. So one building catching fire usually involves more than that building very quickly, just because the nearness of those buildings to each other," Skaling said.

There were no serious injuries, he said.

"We did have four minor firefighter injuries. Three were treated at the scene by paramedics and at least one was transported to the hospital, assessed and released."

Six residents had to leave their homes as a result of the fire, but were able to return by 9 a.m., he said. 

Power to the village had to be cut.

"We had to shut power down the entire village because the main lines go right in front of all the commercial buildings and apartment buildings on Main Street," Skaling said.

The cause of the blaze hasn't been determined.

Ray Fisher, who owns a nearby business, said the fire originated in a row of buildings on Main Street and involved Value Foods, a local grocery store.

"The major impact I see is the food store which our local community uses extensively and our workers that come in on a seasonal basis really depend upon that store," Fisher said.

"The storage unit to that store has been compromised, if not destroyed. The store itself suffered smoke and water damage."

Fire crews from various communities in the Annapolis Valley were called in to battle a blaze that spread to a number of buildings, including a grocery store, on Main Street in Canning, N.S. (Ray Fisher)

Another witness, Ian Swinamer, said when he arrived on the scene, around 4 a.m., he could see flames in multiple buildings along Main Street, including an apartment building.

Lynn Eisner, who owns an inn nearby, said the damage to the vacant buildings is severe.

"One of them is almost burned to the ground and the other building is going to have to be torn down," she said Sunday morning.

Sirens in the middle of night woke up many town residents, she said. The people quickly gathered at the scene.

"Everybody was coming out of their houses and walking towards the village. It was very loud here last night and very colourful."

'They worked fast and they worked hard'

Residents who live above the Pharmasave drug store were forced to leave their homes, she said. A meat market on the street was also affected, with smoke and water damage.

Firefighters worked tirelessly through the early morning, Eisner said.

"They worked fast and they worked hard. It was just unbelievable and you know how a little community just comes together. You got Tim Hortons delivering big carafes of coffee for everybody, and everybody was just kind of coming out and helping. We've just gone to the meat market, saying you know if you need some extra hands, we're here to help."

The fire was out by 7 a.m.



With files from Blair Sanderson