GLACE BAY, N.S. — On Christmas Eve, a fire at a two-story house in Glace Bay caused significant damage to the exterior of the structure, but caused even greater heartbreak during the discovery of destroyed Christmas presents inside the house.
Although no one was injured in the December 24 fire at 102 McIntyre Lane, crews from the Glace Bay and Reserve Mines Volunteer Fire Departments were dispatched to the scene after “a grandmother who was home picking up presents for her own niece noticed the fire and contacted 911 immediately,” Glace Bay Fire Chief John Chant said.
“We arrived at the scene and there was a massive fire, and the house sustained significant damage,” Chant said on Sunday. “But once inside, we saw that all those gifts were lost. It’s stuff like that that I hate to see at this time of year.
No details were provided on the specific gifts lost or the names of the recipient families who would receive these gifts. But several crew members made an offer of alternative Christmas gifts they could give in place of what was lost.
FIREFIGHTERS GIVE GIFTS
“Some of the firefighters came up to me and said, ‘If we can help the family involved, we can go to our house and get some presents,'” Chant said. says, “Here’s the thing: I have a daughter of mine and she has gift cards, and other firefighters have stuff they can run home and grab for you to put under the tree.
“And there were others around who, between them all, said, ‘There are enough uncles and family members around who, after buying presents, were ready to change the name of these gifts to say, From Santa Claus. “
Chant said the offer of replacement gifts was politely declined “but the people who said no appreciated that we made the offer. Still, that’s (fires) how I hate to see at this time of the year.
According to Chant, firefighters received a call from a structure engulfed in flames around 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Upon arrival, a team from Glace Bay was greeted by violent fires on the first floor of the house. Extreme fire and heat conditions forced two other crews to leave the house and fight the blaze outside before they were able to return and put out the flames inside.
FIGHT OUTSIDE ELEMENTS
The weather conditions outside didn’t help matters, as Chant said firefighters were working in extremely cold and windy conditions, with water rapidly freezing to ice and causing dangerous slip and fall conditions across the scene. .
“It was one of the coldest calls I’ve ever had,” he said. “But being Christmas Eve, we wanted to make sure we had as many hands on deck to help with the fire.
“For the situation he was in, it all worked out in the end.”
Then, on Christmas night, around 11:14 p.m., the Glace Bay crew attended to another fire, this time at 127 South Street. “Most of the damage was exterior,” Chant said. “There was also damage to the first floor, but the rest of the house was damaged by smoke.” He added that there were no injuries and that the fire was “deemed accidental”.
“Every time the pager goes off at this time of year, I cringe. But you just expect it.