Building at campground destroyed by fire
© Eric Sparling - Amherst Daily News
A fire early Friday morning destroyed the building that housed a flea market and served as storage for the Gateway Campground. The cause has yet to be determined. Eric Sparling – Amherst Daily News
FORT LAWRENCE – For the second time in two weeks, members of the Amherst Fire Department spent the night battling a blaze in the middle of the night.
Firefighters were called to the Gateway Campground in Fort Lawrence just after 4 a.m. Friday. When they arrived they found a large storage building fully engulfed. The building is a total loss.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” owner Steve Mohammed said later Friday. “This is a big loss to the campground because the bathrooms and shower building was destroyed as well.”
Mohammed said he has no idea what caused the fire. He has no insurance on the structure he estimates was worth about $300,000.
“I don’t know if I can or will rebuild,” he said.
Linda St. Peter lives next to the structure and looked out her window to see the building full of flames.
“All I saw were flames. The back section went first,” she said. “It’s really hard to talk about because I lost a lot. I had a flea market set up in there.”
St. Peter said campers were awakened by a series of small explosions from inside the building. They went around waking others up.
Mohammed said the facility served as a warehouse for the campground. He said there was a car and car parts inside as well as materials from St. Peter’s flea market.
He said there were about seven couples staying at the campground and RV park at the time of the fire.
This is the second fire in three years at the campground. In August 2009, fire destroyed a bathroom-shower building. That fire was electrical in nature. He rebuilt the structure only to have it destroyed Friday.
Firefighters were on the scene for about five hours. Tankers from Truemanville, Sackville and Point de Bute provided assistance.