Nova Scotia

Fire destroys store in downtown Pictou, N.S., months after it opened

A stubborn fire in Pictou, N.S., destroyed a local store on Monday and left a gap in the Water Street downtown district.

Flames, smoke shooting out of the building caused some nearby businesses to evacuate

The fire broke out at Poppy's One Stop in Pictou, N.S., at about 11:15 a.m. on Monday. (Submitted by Kathy Morrell)

A stubborn fire in Pictou, N.S., destroyed a local store on Monday and left a gap in the Water Street downtown district.

Poppy's One Stop opened in January and the space previously housed a dollar store.

"He was working hard to build the business and it was a year-round operation," said Pictou Mayor Jim Ryan. 

"We have a number of seasonal operations because we're, in a large part, a tourist community. He was really working hard at trying to fill a need for those who didn't want to, or couldn't, travel to New Glasgow to the larger stores that we're all used to in the bigger centres."

Ryan said the fire broke out about 11:15 a.m. He said the owner noticed some smoke coming from the storage area in the back of the building. The owner called 911 and about seven local fire departments responded.

The structure, built in the late 1950s or early 1960s, previously housed a Sobeys at one time, he said.

Firefighting challenges

The fire moved into an area where a peaked roof was built on top of the original flat roof, causing some challenges, Ryan said.

Flames and smoke shooting out of the structure caused some nearby businesses to evacuate.

Building next door suffers little damage

Ryan said there's a hardware store next to Poppy's. He said there's maybe half a metre of space between the buildings.

"The firemen did an exceptional job at protecting that building, so there was no fire damage other than maybe a little scorching in one corner of that particular wall of the building," Ryan said.

He said the owner of Poppy's is discouraged by the fire, but is relieved there were no injuries.

Ryan is hopeful the owner, who had insurance, will be able to rebuild.

"There is actually a parking lot right next door to it, so we don't need a larger parking lot, that's for sure," he said. "But I'm sure, yeah, well I'm confident, that some development will take place."

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