The community of Tyne Valley is in shock following an early morning fire on Sunday that destroyed the community's sports centre.
The Tyne Valley Fire Department received a call about the fire around 2:50 a.m Dec. 29.
"When we got there, we could see the flames coming through the roof and front door about 10 to 15 feet. We called in mutual aid departments of Lennox Island, O'Leary, Wellington, Miscouche and Summerside," said Tyne Valley Fire Cheif, William Bishop.
It took time before the departments were able to get into the structure because of its steel walls.
Bishop said crews were able to save the centre's Zamboni, but other than that, the building is a "total loss".
Bishop said the firefighters from O'Leary, Wellington, Miscouche and Summerside were able to leave the scene around 8 a.m., following five to six hours of battling the blaze.
Also on the scene were RCMP, the deputy fire marshal, Maritime Electric, demolition crews and highway safety crews.
Adam MacLennan a firefighter with Tyne Valley and the centre's rink manager, was one of the people battling the fire.
"I don't know where we'll go next," he said Sunday once the worst of the fire had been extinguished.
We'll have to cope with today. I imagine efforts will be made soon to start a building committee. It will take time."
The facility was built in 1964 and was renovated in 2000. The facility was also home to the community's Tyne Valley Oyster Festival.
The rink, which opened for the hockey and figure skating seasons in October, was closed for several days in November and December following issues with air quality.
The fire is believed to have started near the front entrance and close to the ice surface. However, no additional information was available on Sunday.
"Everybody is devastated to see this happen," said MacLennan. It's a major hit to the community. A community complex is one of the most important buildings in areas like this. I'm sure there's a lot of questions for the minor hockey associate and figure skating about where the kids are going to play now.
"Mass organization is going to need to happen. Major efforts are going to need to be made and hopefully co-operation between governments."
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Major loss to the Community of Tyne Valley as arena burns !!Posted by Eddie J Hackett on Sunday, December 29, 2019