Moncton fire damages historic downtown office building

·2 min read
The Moncton Fire Department responded to an alarm at 171 Lutz St. on Saturday morning. The building has extensive damage. (Radio-Canada - image credit)
The Moncton Fire Department responded to an alarm at 171 Lutz St. on Saturday morning. The building has extensive damage. (Radio-Canada - image credit)

A fire has left extensive damage to a nearly century-old brick building in Moncton after flames burst out in a first-floor office.

The Moncton Fire Department responded to an alarm at 171 Lutz St. at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The two-storey brick building is the former Tuttle's Funeral Home and was recently renovated into office space. It was built in 1929 and currently houses several businesses, including a law firm and natural medicine clinic.

Platoon Chief Brian McDonald said the building was full of smoke on arrival, as firefighters discovered an active blaze inside an office.

"The fire had extended to the second floor through the flooring of this old building which had been renovated," he said.

When firefighters arrived, one employee who had just arrived for work noticed the building was full of smoke and called 911. There were no injuries and no one was inside at the time of the fire.

The older building contained many layers of construction, making the fire particularly challenging for firefighters.
The older building contained many layers of construction, making the fire particularly challenging for firefighters.(Radio-Canada)

McDonald said the building contains many layers of construction, making the fire particularly challenging to fully extinguish.

"Unfortunately the fire created a lot of damage," he said. "When the firefighters were entering the building there was so much heat and smoke they couldn't see where they were going."

Firefighters had to crawl around the floor of the building to locate the flames. Ceilings, walls and floors had to be opened up to expose the fire.

Most of the fire was extinguished within the first 30 minutes.

A fire inside a first-floor office at 173 Lutz St. in Moncton resulted in extensive damage.
A fire inside a first-floor office at 173 Lutz St. in Moncton resulted in extensive damage.(Radio-Canada)

One first-floor office was heavily damaged by fire, while the rest of the building experienced heavy smoke and water damage. The structure remains intact.

The building is located next to the Moncton farmers' market, but it was not impacted by the fire. In addition to Lutz Street, Main Street was briefly closed so firefighters could run a hose from a hydrant across the road.

Ambulance New Brunswick, Codiac RCMP and NB Power also responded.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.