Foul play ruled out in blaze that levelled Nova Scotia boatyard

The Canadian Press ~ The News
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

HALIFAX An investigator has ruled out foul play in a fire that razed a Nova Scotia boat building company that was in the middle of refitting a $3.5-million cruising schooner.

HALIFAX An investigator has ruled out foul play in a fire that razed a Nova Scotia boat building company that was in the middle of refitting a $3.5-million cruising schooner.

Tuesdays blaze in Petite Riviere, about 100 kilometres southwest of Halifax, destroyed Covey Island Boatworks and the Maggie B, which had just completed a voyage around the world.

Derwin Swinemar, a deputy fire marshal, said no one deliberately set the fire.

He said the fire started in the rear of the building, but the cause has yet to be determined.

Swinemar confirmed investigators will focus on the buildings electrical system, but he suggested that flammable liquids used in boat construction could have spontaneously caught fire.

But you have to understand, theres a lot of destruction in that building as well anything that caused a spark could have started a fire, he said.

It may have been a fan, it may have been a blower, it may have been a heating device that automatically cut in. Were dealing with a lot of flammable and combustible liquids in the building, so anything is possible.

The 64-year-old owner of the Maggie B, American venture capitalist Frank Blair, said he had recently sailed from Lunenburg to Lunenburg, around Cape Horn.

To have her die where she was built its completely weirding me out, the former U.S. navy fighter pilot said Tuesday. This was my home for two years. So its like my house burned.

He launched the 19-metre wooden boat in January 2006 and took off with a crew of four.

The Maggie B was slated to be relaunched in Lunenburg, N.S., next Monday.

Blair said he will be writing a book about his sailing adventures.

This is going to be quite an exclamation point at the end of the book, he said, noting the Maggie B was named after his childrens favourite bedtime story about a brother and sister who go sailing for the day.

Nobody was at the Petite Riviere Volunteer Fire Department, next door to the boatyard, when neighbours first noticed the blaze at about 2:30 a.m.

By the time firefighters arrived, there was no chance to save the building, said fire chief Scott Drummond.

I was the second firefighter in, he said. The first firefighter had (fire trucks) pulled out of the hall just in case the hall would catch fire, where we were so close.

The flames melted the vinyl siding on the fire station.

About 60 firefighters from seven departments were called to battle the blaze.



Organizations: Petite Riviere Volunteer Fire Department

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Lunenburg, Petite Riviere Cape Horn U.S.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments