© Dave Mathieson
SPRINGHILL – It’s going to be longer than expected before the community in centre here opens its doors to the public following Wednesday’s fire.
“We’ve had to cancel everything,” Springhill’s Chief Administrative Officer Don Tabor said Friday. “We were hoping for Monday but it cold be longer.”
The fire, which originated in a men’s washroom on the building’s second floor after at least one young vandal lit a garbage can on fire, shut down the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre due to water, smoke and soot damage. While the fire was limited to a small area, the smoke damage is throughout the building.
“They’re going to do air testing and have to flush out the central air system because the soot and smoke had gone throughout,” Tabor said.
The air quality of the building was just another casualty of the fire. The canteen on the main floor of the building suffered extensive water damage and at least half of the walking track that surrounded the indoor arena had to be torn up, Tabor said, due to water damage.
“It’s really thrown things,” Tabor said.
Friday’s Jr. B hockey game between the Cumberland County Blues and the Antigonish Bulldogs was cancelled as well as all services and programs. Hope two fundraisers slated for this weekend would be hosted at the community centre – the Blues’ Diamond Dinner and the Guy Brown Memorial banquet – were quashed when the building’s air quality couldn’t be given the green-light, Leisure Services Director Jonathan Darnbrough confirmed Friday.
The Santa Clause Parade, which traditionally concluded at the community centre where kids would meet Santa Claus, will still take place Thursday, Nov. 22, but will wrap up with the Springhill Fire Dept. hosting the final festivities instead.
A young offender was arrested by Springhill Police following the fire and charges of arson and vandalism causing damage in excess of $5,000 are pending.