Nova Scotia

Vape shop, beauty salon destroyed in 'horrific' Glace Bay fire

Dozens of firefighters spent Saturday evening battling a fire that destroyed a two-storey building housing two businesses and some vacant apartments in Glace Bay, N.S.

50 firefighters battled the Saturday night blaze in frigid temperatures

A fire engulfed a building on the corner of Commercial and Catherine streets in Glace Bay, N.S., on Saturday. (Submitted by Shauna Wilcox)

Dozens of firefighters spent Saturday evening battling a fire that destroyed a two-storey building that housed two businesses and some vacant apartments in Glace Bay, N.S. 

John Chant, chief of the Glace Bay Volunteer Fire Department, said someone working in one of the businesses called the fire department around 6:20 p.m. Saturday complaining of smoke in the building. 

Not long after, he said a call came in from a passerby saying the building was engulfed in flames. 

"So the fire was very fast travelling," he said.

"It was horrific," said Walter Burgess, part owner of Coastal Vapor, who was inside with a customer when the fire broke out.

"[It] just boggles my mind how fast it was. I literally had a ceiling come down on me, that's how fast it happened. I'm actually lucky that I even got out. Couldn't see the hand in front of my face," Burgess said.

Walter Burgess said the fire spread so fast that the ceiling came down on him before he could get out. (Submitted by John Chant)

The building on the corner of Commercial and Catherine streets was home to Coastal Vapor, Bel's Beauty Boutique and Cash Corner. The apartments above weren't occupied, said Chant.

By 10 p.m. the fire was under control, but Chant said the building was a "total loss." 

He said they called in an excavator to tear down what was left of it so they could attack hotspots. Crews were expected to be on site for much of the night. 

Six departments and roughly 50 firefighters were involved in fighting the blaze, as well as two aerial fire trucks.

He said it's too early to know the cause, but police have been called in to investigate.

The building housed two businesses and some vacant apartments. (Submitted by Krista Montelpare)

No one was hurt in the fire, but Chant said frigid temperatures made conditions difficult for firefighters. 

"Everything is frozen solid. I can't feel my fingers right now and I'm one of the lucky ones."

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