Downtown business catches fire in Springhill

Christopher Gooding
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Downtown business catches fire in Springhill

SPRINGHILL Thirteen employees of the Paint Recycling Company in Springhill are wondering what the future holds after an early morning blaze brought operations to a halt.

Springhill Police were notified shortly before 5 a.m. of smoke rolling out of the Main Street business and fire departments from Springhill and Oxford were quickly brought in to douse the flames.

A quarter of the building was engulfed when we arrived on the scene, Springhill Fire Chief Thomas Corkin said. It was contained to the area of the electrical room and offices. Next to that was palletized paint cans and, unfortunately, cardboard containers.

Emergency Measures Officer for the county, Jim Hannon, was immediately called, Corkin said. Just two-days prior, the Springhill fire department, policee and ground search and rescue participated in an information session with Hannon and Amhersts HazMat response team on what to do in the event Ropak, Surrette Battery or the Paint Recycling Company were involved in a fire because of the potentially harmful chemicals used in each business.

In the event the building became fully engulfed we would have evacuated homes, Corkin said. Thank God it didnt come to that. The environmental issue was the tricky part of it. There was concern about the groundwater being affected.

Bringing the fire under control was a harrowing experience, Corkin said. Under the direction of deputy fire chief Carl Black, who was the first senior officer on the scene, two attack lines were formed to extinguish the fire; one from the front of the building and another from the side. As the orange glow of the fire began to dim sparks flew from the roof of the building as volunteer firefighters cut through the metal roof of the building.

The fire marshal was on scene this morning to investigate the cause of the fire and Shediac, N.B., owner Pierre Landry was sighted in Springhill.

Employees of the Paint Recycling Company sat together in cars in front of the charred and still-smoking building drinking Tim Hortons coffee, smoking and trying to determine what to do next. Their faith, it appeared, is behind their employer, who coined the method of recycling discarded paint cans into a consumer product.

I dont know whats going to happen, Irwin Bird said. Im sure Pierre will figure something out. Ive worked eight years for him and hes always been good to us.

Organizations: Paint Recycling Company, Tim Hortons

Geographic location: Springhill, Oxford, Shediac

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