Miramichi fire destroys 3 buildings, including long-standing Vogue Theatre
HALIFAX -- An early-morning fire in Miramichi, N.B., destroyed a long-standing art hub in the city on Sunday.
According to the Miramichi Fire Department, crews were called to the neighbourhood of Chatham, N.B. just after 4 a.m., with reports of a single-residential fire.
Once crews arrived, the fire had spread to an adjacent building that houses the well-known Vogue Theatre.
“We received a call of a single-residential fire, and when we responded the building was fully engulfed and it also encroached the adjacent building,” said Miramichi Fire Department Deputy Chief Mario Berthiaume.
“I came to work and yeah, the emergency vehicles were here,” said Dane Gunnlaugson, who works nearby where the fires took place. “This building right here, it was about, kind of half way through being burnt, but it was clear that building was completely destroyed at that point.”
Residents in the area are in disbelief saying their memories of the Vogue Theatre will remain vivid in their minds.
“We’d get in with a quarter then, to get in and see a movie,” said Chatham resident, Mildred Breau.
“One of my favourite things to do was to stand at the back of the building as people came in for an event, and it was always that moment where they recognized it from their past, and they were just so excited to be in the room, I know entertainers have shared. We’ve done music and theatre, stand-up, comedy even,” said the owner of Vogue Theatre, Victor Somers.
Somers, who along with owning the theatre, is also the lead pastor of the church services held inside every Sunday morning.
“This morning, like every other Sunday morning, I was preparing for service again, and then got a call very early on that there was a fire on the block,” said Somers.
Fire crews say the extreme heat made it difficult for firefighters to attack the flames from the inside. The Vogue Theatre was among three buildings considered a total loss.
“So you’re looking at a total of three buildings, the storage unit, you have Vogue Theatre that’s behind us, and also a residential building. Approximately about six buildings were impacted through radiant heat,” said Berthiaume.
Berthiaume says it is too early to determine the cause of the fire. The investigation has been handed over to the fire marshal’s office.