Owen Watson sent us this photo after a fire destroyed one of the storage barns housing 40 vintage cars. Watson lost a 2012 Challenger SRT8 in the fire.
©Photo special to The Guardian by Owen Watson
BRACKLEY - The past couple of days have been some of the more trying ones for area farmer Barry Cudmore.
Cudmore has been picking up the pieces after a fire early Friday morning engulfed one of his storage barns on Black River Road, destroying more than 40 vehicles in the process.
For Cudmore and a number of his clients, the news was shocking and also beyond disappointing.
“The past two days have probably been some of my tougher ones on earth,” said Cudmore during an interview with The Guardian Sunday night. “Absolutely nothing was salvageable to the best of my knowledge. It looks like a warzone, or a bombed out building.”
Cudmore said Ford Mustangs and Mazda Miatas were two of the more common cars held in the barn, while there was also a number of restored vintage cars.
In total, there were approximately 36 cars and trucks, as well as 13 motorcycles.
He added that two others had some personal items stored, one being household belongings and another with equipment for an industrial garage.
New Glasgow Fire Department Chief Jason Peters said firefighters responded to the blaze at approximately 1:10 a.m. Friday.
“It was completely engulfed,” said Peters. “We did as much as we could based on the situation because the roof had collapsed, it was hard to get it totally out.”
Peters said the North Shore department was also called in for mutual aid, providing some manpower and water support.
Cudmore praised the fire department and said firefighters were able to keep the flames from spreading to nearby buildings, including one that was semi-attached to the storage barn.
“That housed a lot of my more valuable farm equipment,” he said. “That was saved. Had the fire department not been there, I’m pretty certain it would have been burnt as well.”
Cudmore said much of his time since the fire has been spent contacting clients, many of whom are either summer residents of P.E.I. or are working out west.
While a lot of contact information was also lost in the fire, he was able to find an overall diagram with the layout of the barn including cars and owners on Saturday.
However, he is still trying to reach a little more than half a dozen clients.
Because he uses more than one building, Cudmore is urging anyone with family members or friends that use his storage to contact him so he can verify whether their vehicle was involved in the fire.
He said while the building was insured, clients signed a waiver noting he didn’t carry insurance on their vehicles.
The onus was on clients to continue their fire and theft coverage.
Although, Cudmore said that hasn’t made the calls any easier.
“For most people a call like that is more than disappointing, it’s a cold call telling you that you lost something,” he said. “But everyone has treated me with respect and have been thankful no one was hurt in the fire.”
The provincial fire marshal office is investigating the fire.