Fire at vacant Joggins home

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Fighting the fire

JOGGINS – Fire fighters from Joggins, Rive Hebert and Amherst descended on this idyllic coastal community after a vacant home caught fire this afternoon.

Coming into the community, vehicles lined the streets as a hearse pulls away from St. Thomas Aquinas church while immediately after it, at a small intersection that takes you to Summer Street, fire trucks lined up to fill a water reservoir in place of fire hydrants, which the small village doesn’t have.

Neighbours gather in their yards; other sit together on their porches, while a couple take in the activity sitting in green lawn chairs.

With the nearby Joggins Fossil Centre closed until tourism season resumes, it's the most activity that’s taken place here in some time.

Once a strong mining community that boasted a hotel, railway station and school, those infrastructures disappeared after the mines stopped feeding electrical stations in Maccan in the 1950s.

And now another house will disappear. Albeit, a vacant one and just one of the many now in the community.

“I was talking with my neighbor how there are so many empty houses,” Jill Gilroy, who was babysitting for her daughter across from the Summer Street home. “I stuck my head around and nothing. Half-an-hour later it was on fire.”

The last occupant of the home, Gilroy said, had moved back in with his mother.

Geographic location: Joggins, Maccan

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Recent comments

  • sueb
    April 16, 2013 - 08:19

    Whoa, easy now. Let's not form a lynch mob just yet. I'm sure the writer was simply trying to paint a picture of an "idyllic coastal community" to put the reader in the position of understanding why an event like a fire in a vacant house, that the rest of us would consider insignificant, is important to the residents of a tiny, close knit village. Mentioning the hearse, while obviously a sore spot for some of you, is merely to create an image of life and death in a small community and the huge impact it has. If not for the writer's attempt to engage readers those of us who aren't from Joggins probably wouldn't give this event a second thought, let alone identify with the significant impact it had on your community.

  • LouAnne Berry
    April 12, 2013 - 20:19

    I have read this article over again and again trying to make sense of it! I cannot fully understand why the mention of the hearse leaving the church would be mentioned in your article! I personally found it very disrespectful to the family and community in general. We are indeed, a small but very proud community. To say the fire is the most activity that has taken place in some time was rather inappropriate! You have no idea what great things occur in Joggins! As for the empty home, it used to be someones home and tears were shed!!

  • Lorna Terrio
    April 12, 2013 - 10:19

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: I am dismayed with the author of this article, especially why you felt the need to report on the hearse leaving St. Thomas Aquinas Church. I suggest that you be more sensitive on reporting on what was a most difficult day for family, friends, neighbors in this community following their last respects to someone they loved dearly. It was a hourse fire to a derelict vacant building and their was no need to sensationalize by reporting on anything else. Lorna Terrio

  • Safety Guy
    April 12, 2013 - 07:11

    Not sure what this story is about: the burning of a house to which no details were provided or the slow, painful death of yet another Nova Scotia rural community. I guess the house got fed up with living in the small town and since it couldn't go out West it spontaneously ignited?

  • Janet Morris
    April 12, 2013 - 01:44

    What's with the hearse? Really, was there any need of that?

  • Janice Mills
    April 11, 2013 - 16:19

    Great thanks and lots of appreciation to the fire departments of Joggins, River Hebert, Southampton, Springhill and Amherst for their swift response, and expertise in keeping our neighbouring homes safe!

    • LouAnne Berry
      April 12, 2013 - 20:30

      Yes indeed Janice..they deserve much credit!!!

  • justagirl
    April 11, 2013 - 13:32

    who wrote this? lol