Hundreds of firearms removed from Summerside fire debris

Fire officials have been busy retrieving and securing hundreds of firearms from debris at Green Diamond Equipment Ltd. in Summerside, P.E.I., after Saturday's fire destroyed the building.

Fire destroyed Green Diamond Equipment Ltd. building on Saturday.

An aerial view of the fire at Green Diamond Equipment Ltd. in Summerside on Saturday. (Submitted by Doug MacDonald)

After a fire destroyed a farm equipment dealership in Summerside, P.E.I., a priority for investigators was digging through the debris and making sure hundreds of firearms were safely removed and taken to a secure location.

"We don't like firearms lying around," said Provincial Fire Marshal Dave Rossiter on Monday. "In the interest of public safety, we want to make sure there's no open firearms around."

On Saturday at around 11 a.m., a fire broke out at Green Diamond Equipment Ltd. The fire was extinguished in about three hours, but the building was destroyed.

Crews were busy on Monday excavating the fire site at Green Diamond Equipment Ltd. in Summerside. A main priority was retrieving hundreds of guns from the debris. (CBC)

Rossiter said that in addition to farm equipment, the company also operated an outfitter store that sold firearms and hunting supplies.

He said on Saturday, about 120 firearms were retrieved from the site, and since then, "not quite as many but probably close to that" as well as a number of other firearms.

"We've recovered everything out of there that we can possibly recover right now," said Rossiter.

To ensure the firearms in the debris weren't accessed by members of the public, Rossiter said the RCMP and private security were guarding the site.

Fire Marshal Dave Rossiter said the investigation into Saturday's fire is ongoing. (CBC )

Rossiter said the firearms retrieved on Saturday were returned to the company. P.E.I.'s Chief Firearms Officer was on site Monday to determine what would happen to the rest of the firearms dug out of the debris. 

Rossiter said the investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing. 

"There's a combination of site work and interviews that have to be done," he said.  "There will be nothing definitive on this for a while."

No one was injured in Saturday's fire. 

With files from Laura Meader