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CTV’s Bruce Frisko receives notice to evacuate neighbourhood while anchoring newscast

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Thousands of Nova Scotians have been waiting and worrying about their homes and neighbourhoods since wildfires began burning in the province on Sunday forcing mandatory evacuations.

Among them is CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko, who found himself on both sides of this crisis.

His experience began Sunday afternoon while producing and anchoring CTV News at 6.

“We noticed fire after fire after fire and then we got word of fires breaking out in Tantallon, which was immediately cause for concern because I live there.”

Bruce said the newsroom was monitoring the situation closely and was amazed at how quickly it was spreading.

“Then they started announcing evacuations, so I phoned home and alerted my spouse just so she aware,” he said. “And then we started getting alerts about evacuations and entire neighbourhoods were being told to leave and they couldn’t go back.”

Bruce was on the air at about 6:10 p.m. when an emergency alert said Highland Park was among the latest list of neighbourhoods being evacuated.

“It was a very odd feeling, sitting up there reporting on your own evacuation, which I wound up having to do,” he said.

“After work, you know, we met up, immediately tried to book a hotel, which was very difficult. The phone lines – most of them we found were jammed. The online booking system wasn’t working.”

Fortunately, Bruce’s colleague Liz Rigney offered to let Bruce stay in her newly-renovated basement suite.

“We’re so incredibly grateful to Liz, for doing that for us,” Bruce said.

“As for our house, we’ve been sort of monitoring the piecemeal information that we can find from people who are there. As far as we know, there’s been no damage in that particular part of the neighbourhood yet.”

Bruce is one of the lucky ones -- the Tantallon-area fire has destroyed 150 homes.

“I think our thoughts really need to be with them right now,” he said. 

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