Fire destroys multiple buildings in Canning
An early-morning fire in Canning, N.S., on Sunday saw two buildings destroyed, and the main street in the Annapolis Valley village closed to traffic for much of the day.
The Canning Fire Department responded to reports of a structure fire that engulfed a building on the village's main street at 3:15 a.m.
"We immediately called for additional mutual aid,” says Canning Fire Department Chief Jeffrey Skaling. “At the height of the call we had about 75 firefighters on scene from nine departments."
Skaling notes the extra help from nearby fire crews benefitted their efforts immensely and helped to save other buildings from being destroyed.
“Fortunately, with the number of firefighters we had and the hydrant system in the village, we were able to contain it to those three buildings," says Skaling.
Two of the buildings were destroyed. However, Skaling notes both buildings, which previously served as apartment complexes, were vacant at the time.
Meanwhile, a third building -- a storage house of the town's grocery store -- was extensively damaged. The grocery store and a neighbouring meat market only sustained minimal smoke and water damage.
No residents were hurt, but four firefighters sustained minor injuries. Three of the firefighters were treated and released at the scene, while the fourth was taken to the Valley Regional Hospital and released later in the morning.
Six residents of a neighbouring apartment building were evacuated as a precaution.
"It was quite high,” says resident, Colton Hiltz. “It was higher than the telephone poles for sure. Down back was the worst, that was all caving in – it was pretty wild."
It was a close call for a village with a history of major fires.
"Two major fires totally destroyed Canning, and this one could have just as easily,” says resident, Crystal Maxner. “I know for my family and all of the businesses, we truly want to thank the Canning Fire Department and all the fire departments that came in. They were really fast, and their quick action truly saved many businesses."
Meanwhile, local businesses say Sunday’s street closures are affecting them on a weekday that typically brings in a lot of business.
"A lot of people come from miles around just to go to the meat market or head to Valu Foods, there is a liquor store in it, so it's quite busy on Sundays,” says business owner, June Granger. “This kind of stops the flow of everything for the day."
Meanwhile, the village's main street remained closed to traffic on Sunday as the fire marshal investigated the cause of the fire. However, determining a cause will prove difficult.
"The deputy fire marshal is on scene, and the investigation is ongoing,” says Skaling. “But due to the severity of the damage to the main building – it's going to be challenging."
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Allan April