This morning at around five to six, the West Nipissing Fire Service received a call to a fire at a residential building on the corner of Church and William Streets. “We quickly evacuated the building,” explained Fire Chief Frank Loeffen, and everyone made it to the street safely.
The fire was contained to the attic space of building, Chief Loeffen said, “but it’s an old building, and there are multiple levels in that attic space.” There are nine rental units in the building—it was the former site of Martin Cleaners—and unfortunately, no residents will be allowed to enter the building.
See: Fire breaks out in Sturgeon Falls this morning
The cause of the fire is under investigation, and an estimate of the damage will follow soon after. Fire fighters from the main station in Sturgeon Falls were joined by crew from stations in Field and Verner.
It was so hot today, the Chief wanted to ensure the firefighters had opportunities to take a break, drink some water, and cool down, hence the extra crew, “who did a really good job suppressing the fire.”
At the time of writing, firefighters were still on scene ensuring all the hot spots are completely extinguished. Chief Loeffen noted that hydro has been restored on Church Street, and William Street will be soon to follow, “if it’s not already back on,” he said.
Losing these rental units—if even temporarily—has put many people in a terrible bind, as they no longer have a home to call their own. “It’s always devastating when you hear there is a fire” in the community, West Nipissing Mayor Joanne Savage said. “Your first concern is the safety and well-being of the tenants.”
The Sturgeon Falls Pentecostal Church posted to Facebook this afternoon mentioning it has a free clothing room which could help displaced residents. There is also the food bank on 109 Third Street, and as Mayor Savage said, “our residents are always very generous” when terrible events like this fire occur.
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca