Fire destroys vacant Amherst home

Fire destroyed a vacant, two-storey Amherst home at 97 Church St. during the early hours of Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019.

“We received the alarm at approximately 3:30 a.m.,” Capt. John Matthews, department spokesman said. “When firefighters arrived, the house was fully involved, particularly the back.”

At the height of the fire, flames were shooting more than 10 metres into the air. Three hours after the alarm was turned in smoke from the fire could still be viewed several Church St fire 1 Bblocks away from the scene of the fire.

The Amherst Fire Department deployed all of its fire trucks to fight the fire. The department was assisted by firefighters from the Truemanville, N.S., and Sackville, N.B., fire services.

“There are about 60 firefighters on the scene,” Matthews said, shortly after 6 a.m.

Nova Scotia Power was called in to turn off electricity to the home, which had been converted into two apartments, and Heritage Gas was called in to turn off the natural gas in the area.

Firefighters battled the blaze from the outside – including from a ladder truck – and inside the structure.

Heavy damaged could be seen on the outside walls and the inside of the building.

The fire was mostly knocked down by about 7 a.m. By then, the roof at the front of the structure was gone.

“At this time, we do not know the cause of the fire,” Fire Chief Greg Jones said. “We will be investigating the fire.”

No firefighter was injured battling the blaze.Church St fire 2 B

During the fire, Church Street, from the YMCA parking lot to Clifford Street, Robie Street and Havelock Street, from Agnew Street to Robie Street, were closed to all traffic.

The fire was the second major blaze the department responded to in the past 24 hours. The day before, they responded to a fire that heavily damaged 35 Elmwood Dr. No one was injured in that fire, which is still under investigation.