Exiled to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia – The Waterfront Fire Aftermath Part 1

Today, I went down to the waterfront to check on the damage caused by last night’s fire. The building looks like it has been pretty much gutted by the blaze and it mostly likely will have to be demolished, which will change the look of the Lunenburg waterfront drastically. This building was on pretty much every postcard of Lunenburg.

If the building actually is salvageable, I wonder if it would actually be wise to fix it.  I think that it would be better to build a new building with the same dimensions of the old one, but to today’s building standards which are much safer. Frankly, it’s not as though the building was some sort of triumph of architecture. It was basically a giant red rectangle with a peaked roof.

It's just a flesh wound.
It’s just a flesh wound.

The fire marshal says the fire was most likely electrical in nature, which ties into my theory that for a lot of the buildings around here, the upkeep isn’t that good. I wonder how many decades it’s been since many of these places have been inspected and what kind of building code violations they’d let slide for a building that was built before the codes existed.

Eh, replace the roof. Slap a new coat of paint on the place. It should be fine.
Eh, replace the roof. Slap a new coat of paint on the place. It should be fine.

Looking at this, they were very lucky that those two gas tanks on the left didn’t explode.

Exiled to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia – The Waterfront Fire

This isn’t exactly the way that I wanted to start off my Exiled series, but here goes…

I’ve been staying in a house in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, and, well, there was a giant fire near my house. Actually, at this moment, the firemen are still hosing it down, although I can no longer see any flames, so that’s probably a good sign.

I believe that I heard the first sirens at about 6:30 PM and the sirens kept coming for hours after. I heard that there were up to 16 firetrucks, but I haven’t seen a verified source for this. It was really important to get the fire contained as soon as possible, as Lunenburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the buildings are considered historically important. Also, because the buildings are so old, they don’t have any of our new-fangled fire retardant building materials, just highly inflammable wood, and a whole block of buildings could quite easily go up in flames. I was a bit worried that flying sparks could catch this house alight, but the wind never seemed to blow this way.

Lunenburg Nova Scotia Waterfront Fire Photo 13
Well, that ain’t good.

I was a bit irked by all the looky-loos that drove up with their cars, clogging up the street and making things difficult for the fire trucks. It only takes about 10 minutes to walk across this town. There was no need for all the cars everywhere. I just can’t believe how inconsiderate people can be. They were endangering themselves and others by being too lazy to use their legs. Not, that being a pedestrian looky-loo is that much better, but, heh, that’s what I was, so I can’t complain about that kind. ;)

Lunenburg Nova Scotia Waterfront Fire Photo 14
This is really, really not good.

Judging by how long and intense of a burn this was, I doubt that the building will be salvageable. I’ll have a look tomorrow to see how bad the damage is. Odds are that all the postcards of the waterfront will be sans this building in the future.

Lunenburg Nova Scotia Waterfront Fire Photo 12
Nice Crane!

From what I hear about this building, it was pretty much abandoned and the company that owns it was looking to sell it. There area lot of empty stores, houses and other buildings around here. This kind of event makes you wonder about whether there is any upkeep being done on these  empty buildings or whether they’re just being left to rot.

Here’s some bad video I took of the fire from one of the windows on the upper floor. I you look closer you can see firemen on the ladder in some shots, you can also hear my dog wimpering, he was quite agitated by the whole event.

Here’s a gallery of the rest of the photos that I took, if that kind of thing interests you.