UPDATED: Firefighters battle fire, weather on Friday

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Firefighters had to battle not only the fires but blizzard conditions on Friday during two separate fires in Prince County.

A fire ignited an outbuilding in New Annan Friday morning, forcing firefighters from three detachments to brave blizzard conditions to douse the blaze.

Kensington firefighters were called to the scene at 11:02 a.m. Friday after a shed with a furnace inside it began to burn.

Kensington deputy fire chief Rodney Hickey told The Guardian it appeared the stovepipe might have been the cause.

“It looks like the stovepipe may have fallen off.”

Firefighters from Summerside and New London were also asked to attend the scene to provide additional water, if needed. It was first believed to be a house fire, as the shed is only about 15 feet from the nearby home.

Summerside Fire Chief Jim Peters said a snowplow accompanied the Summerside fire truck to New Annan, as road conditions in this area of the province are very poor

Route 2 between New Annan and Travellers Rest was briefly closed to traffic before noon due to blowing snow and smoke from the nearby shed fire.

Further west, Firefighters and equipment from three West Prince  departments, snowblowers and a snowplow were all used in battling a fire at a farm workshop in St. Louis Friday afternoon.

Miminegash Fire Department deputy chief, Rob Tremblay, said a snowplow opened the farm lane so that firefighters from Miminegash, Alberton and Tignish departments could respond to the 1 p.m. alarm at Leo Perry‘s Union Road workshop.

A cable was subsequently strung from the plow to one of the two tractors in the workshop so that it could be pulled from the burning building.

Tremblay said the tractor sustained fire damage but he believes it can be salvaged. The second tractor, as well as a large supply of tools, could not be saved.

The building, the deputy chief said, was already fully engulfed when firefighters arrived.

Helen Perry, Leo Perry’s wife, said her husband believes the fire might have started in the second tractor. She said Leo discovered the fire when he went to enter the workshop after lunch and found it filled with smoke and a tractor on fire.

Tremblay said two other farm buildings and the farm house were in close proximity to the workshop but were spared damage.

Local farmers assisted firefighters with snowblowers, directing the machines’ chutes at the flames.

Firefighters were fighting the cold and drifting snow in addition to the flames during the four hours they were on the scene.

Visibility, Tremblay said, was extremely bad as they responded at the height of the blizzard.

Because of the poor visibility, the West Prince RCMP ordered Route 152 between Profit’s Corner and Miminegash closed to through traffic while the storm was at its worst.

Back in New Annan, Hickey said it was a stubborn fire and the high winds made it even more difficult to battle.

“They had a lot of wood in there, that’s where the owner stored his wood and his boiler so it was a little stubborn.”

No one was injured and the fire was safely extinguished by Kensington firefighters.


(By Teresa Wright, The Guardian, and Eric McCarthy, TC Media)


Organizations: New London, Miminegash Fire Department

Geographic location: New Annan, Kensington, Summerside Prince Travellers Rest St. Louis

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Recent comments

  • We All Should Say Thanks
    January 04, 2014 - 08:58

    All us Islanders should say a big thankyou to these brave fire fighters all across PEI that give of their time to go out in this kind of weather & fight these fires , remember non of them get paid , they are just really good people willing to help others in need . My hat is off to them . Thanks