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UPDATE: Historic Green Gables Post Office in Cavendish damaged by fire

Flames shoot out of the roof of the Green Gables Post Office in Cavendish. The picture was taken by Melissa Hickox, a staff member at the Cavendish Hotel.
Flames shoot out of the roof of the Green Gables Post Office in Cavendish. The picture was taken by Melissa Hickox, a staff member at the Cavendish Hotel. - Contributed

A fire has damaged the historic Green Gables Post Office in Cavendish.

Firefighters responded to the blaze shortly after 4:30 p.m. on Monday. According to New Glasgow fire department chief Jason Peters, the majority of the damage was concentrated on the roof of the historic structure. The façade of the building was largely left intact.

“The damage is basically on the exterior of the roof, with some interior damage in the upstairs,” Peters said.

Peters said firefighters were able to quell the fire quickly, with assistance from the New London and North Rustico fire departments. In all, six fire trucks were dispatched.

Two staff members were in the building at the time of the fire, said Peters, but they were able to leave without incident. There were no injuries.

Staff at Captain Kidd’s Dairy Bar and Take Out, located across the street, first noticed the fire at around 4:30 p.m.

"We were in the middle of a rush, one of my employees noticed it,” said Roy Hoekstra, owner of Captain Kidd’s.

“So, I called 911. They came pretty quick,"

Hoekstra said the damage appeared to be extensive, and said the damage even looked like it would require a rebuild.

"It went right through the roof," he said.

The Green Gables Post Office was a popular tourist attraction and heritage building. “Anne of Green Gables” author Lucy Maud Montgomery, at one time, worked in the local post office when it was located nearby in her grandparents’ home. The current post office housed an exhibition on Montgomery.

According to newly-proclaimed Cavendish Mayor Matthew Jelley, the post office formed a heritage cornerstone for the community, along with the Green Gables Heritage Place and the nearby MacNeill homestead.

"It kind of forms part of the historical node of the community.”

Jelley said the fire at the post office had some parallels to a 1998 structure fire at the Green Gables Heritage Place. This fire had also taken place during renovations to the site.

"The community at that time rallied, and the Green Gables house emerged stronger than ever from that. I'm confident that a similar scenario would happen here," Jelley said.

Stu.neatby@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/stu_neatby

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