It took 8 hours, 50 firefighters to put out Yarmouth fire
'It was a stubborn fire,' says the platoon chief
It took nearly 50 firefighters and eight hours to put out a fire Tuesday night that destroyed a building in downtown Yarmouth, N.S.
Platoon Chief Hank Nickerson said five departments responded to the call on the corner of Main and Horton streets at 10:50 p.m.
"It was a stubborn fire," said Nickerson, who is with the Yarmouth Fire Department.
"When we got on scene you could see a little bit of smoke on the street, but it soon intensified to where we seen the flames coming through the front of the building and through the roof."
Nickerson said one man was living in an apartment in the building. When he smelled smoke coming from the basement, he called the landlord, who called 911.
"It quickly spread to the upper floors and eventually consuming the whole building," Nickerson said.
Crews were at the scene until 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. The building used to be home to the Ceramic Village.
There were no injuries and the fire didn't spread to any other buildings.
Samantha Gaudet and Joe Hari were out for a drive last night when they heard an alarm.
"We noticed that there was smoke coming out of a building," Hari said, adding that chunks of something — he thinks wood or shingles — were flying through the air.
"It was so windy, it was blowing it off the building and even a big chunk went by my head."
They stayed until after 1 a.m. because Gaudet said she knows the man who was living in the building.
"He was pretty shook up and upset," she said.
"We were basically just staying there because off and on he would come stay in the vehicle. He was trying to figure out about the bikes he had in a little shed on the side."
Don Usher is the owner of the building. His wife ran the Ceramic Village store for 15 years and the building, he said, was full of her supplies.
"She was destroyed by it," Usher said.
He said the building was 100 years old and was formerly a mink shop used to store furs.
Usher said they didn't have insurance on the building, so it's likely the lot will be cleaned up and left vacant.
'They tried their hardest'
The tenant, he said, went last night with a community housing group to find accommodations.
He stayed until 4:30 a.m. with the firefighters.
"I give them credit. I mean, they tried their hardest," Usher said.
"There was nothing they could do. One of the fireman told me 15 minutes in, 'We can't control this. It's gonna burn down.'"
Nickerson said several nearby buildings were evacuated. The fire is now out, but power is still off in the area because "the intense heat of the fire burned the primary lines off."
The cause of the fire is undetermined.