Former Moncton homeless shelter 'beyond repair' after series of fires
MONCTON -- The building that long housed a Moncton homeless shelter now seems beyond repair after there have been three fires in three days at the House of Nazareth Shelter.
The initial call came in Monday afternoon and when crews arrived on scene they found a small fire under a bathroom cabinet.
"I was shocked," said Jay Johnson. "I was kind of taking a nap right, smelt the smoke and everybody was you know, vacating."
A building that has a 40-year history of helping those in need has lost archives that may never be retrievable.
Tuesday morning fire crews were called back as smoke was again coming from the shelter.
"It was heavy smoke coming from the eaves and from a couple of the windows in the building," said Deputy Chief Rob Brine of the Moncton Fire Department. "There was extensive fire happening at the time when crews arrived and they stayed on scene approximately five or six hours."
The fire re-ignited Wednesday morning and the RCMP and a fire investigator were on scene Thursday.
Before the fire, the House of Nazareth was being converted into a building for transitional housing.
It houses "people who shouldn't be in a shelter right now but can't afford an apartment," said executive director Jean Dube.
All that was left to be done was a bit of paint.
"We had already gotten the beds," Dube said. "The single beds and double beds were downstairs, we were ready to take the bunkbeds out and well, that's gone too."
Dube says he's thankful the new shelter on Albert Street is up and running as an alternative option as temperatures plummet in Moncton.
"When I go home at night, I'll be able to sleep well knowing people are safe," Dube said.
But he's sad to see a shelter full of memories destroyed.
"I think it goes to say it's been a long time it's been in the city right, so it's kind of a loss," Johnson said.
Brine said the damage is extensive.
"It's probably unrepairable," he said.
And, while Clarke Street may no longer be a place for some call home, they can warm up at the new shelter for now.