Montague council will operate out of mobile unit 'within days'

The Town of Montague is moving fast after a fire destroyed its town hall last week.

Cause of the fire not known yet, says mayor

'I'm anxiously waiting to hear from the fire marshal's office and, until that time, I have no clue whatsoever as to where it started,' says Mayor Richard Collins. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

The Town of Montague is moving fast after a fire destroyed its town hall last week.

Mayor Richard Collins says a mobile unit will be put on the property as soon as this weekend and council will be using it "within days."

The burned structure will be demolished within once the insurance cost is ironed out, Collins said.

"Then we'll be getting right down to business with a five-member building committee to talk about replacing it."

'Anxiously waiting to hear' about cause

There is no word yet on the cause of the fire, Collins said.

"I'm anxiously waiting to hear from the fire marshal's office and until that time, I have no clue whatsoever as to where it started."

This sign was one of the only distinguishable parts of the building after the fire. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

The new town hall will likely go on the same property, but perhaps with a bigger foundation.

"The building we were in was limited with space. It was built 31 years ago when municipal governments weren't as busy as they are today and didn't have as many staff in their offices," Collins said.

'We're a town of action'

This isn't the first experience with a major fire for Collins, who was also mayor when the town hall was built.

In June 1980, a propane explosion levelled the business next door and took his with it, he said. He had a framed photo of the explosion on his office wall and will try to restore it.

'We're a town of action. There's no need to not move,' Collins said. (John Robertson/CBC)

"We're a town of action. There's no need to not move. We're a busy town with a very busy office and administration. We're moving as quickly as we can," he said.

It's not something Collins ever expected to be dealing with.

"When I walked out of there [last] Wednesday evening at five o'clock from my office, I never dreamt that I would not be going back in."

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With files from Jessica Doria-Brown