A young mother and her three children have been displaced by an early-afternoon fire that damaged a four-unit apartment building in downtown Sackville on Thursday afternoon.
No one was injured in the fire but the building, located in behind the Sackville Commons building on Main Street, suffered extensive smoke and water damage from the blaze.
The other three apartments in the former Kinsmen Club building were vacant at the time.
Canadian Red Cross volunteers have assisted the woman and her children – ages 3, 2 and seven months – with emergency lodging, food and clothing purchases.
Sackville Fire Chief Craig Bowser said his department received the 911 call around 1 p.m. and crews arrived on scene shortly after.
Upon arrival, the firefighters discovered heavy smoke billowing out of the eaves and quickly determined the fire appeared to have started at the rear of the property. Ensuring everyone was out of the building, crews then began to tackle the fire.
Bowser said the members entered through the front entry of the structure and also opened up ventilation through the roof, where aerial crews were able to attack the flames.
“The fire crews did a very good job of controlling and maintaining the fire throughout the event,” said Bowser.
A total of 32 firefighters – 29 from Sackville and three from Dorchester – were on scene throughout the afternoon.
“The fire was brought under control within one-and-a-half to two hours,” said Bowser. “Then we spent some time dousing hot spots and cleaning up . . . we were there until about 5.”
Bowser said the cause of the fire is under investigation by the provincial fire marshal, who was on scene today to inspect the site.
Along with the Red Cross, the community has also been quick to jump on board to help the local family. The staff at the neighbourhing business Commons opened their doors to the mom and her kids almost immediately, while offers of clothing, shoes, diapers, formula and toys quickly poured in from area residents who had heard of the fire. The Commons has been serving as a drop-off point for donations, both of items and cash, since yesterday.
The family is still in need of the following: baby formula for a seven-month old (Enfamil A+), size 4 diapers, size 4/5 pull-ups, girls clothing size 4t and 5t, baby girl clothing 12-18 mos, women's clothing small to medium, and men's clothing (lg shirt, 32X34 pants).