PARRSBORO, N.S. – The cause of the fire at the Glooscap Restaurant and Lounge is still under investigation, after the fire destroyed the building Tuesday morning.
"We got a call for the fire at 7 a.m. and wrapped up at 2:30 p.m.,” said James Shaw, chief of the Parrsboro Fire Department. “We’re doing an investigation tomorrow with the fire marshal and the insurance adjuster to determine what caused the fire.”
Shaw said there were no occupants in the building at the time of the fire.
“One of the owners of the restaurant noticed the smoke when he was going to work,” said Shaw.
Fire departments that responded to the fire included Parrsboro, Springhill, River Hebert, Southampton, and the FPW Fire Brigade.
Freezing temperatures posed the biggest challenge when fighting the fire.
“It was -20C when we got the call, so keeping the guys warm, keeping the trucks warm, and keeping the water from freezing up was the main challenge,” said Shaw. “But we never had any issues with losing the water supply. We had a water supply the whole time. Nothing froze up, so we were successful that way.”
The restaurant employed 14 people.
“It was devastating to see the restaurant destroyed,” said Wannetta Tanner, an employee at the restaurant for the past two years. “It’s been an icon in the community forever and ever. It’s the only restaurant in the community that’s open year-round, and it provides a lot of employment for the community."
Tanner went to see the devatation for herself Tuesday morning. She feels bad for the owners, her co-workers, and the customers.
“It’s one big family. You get to know everybody,” said Tanner.
Norman Rafuse, Cumberland County councillor for Parrsboro and area, said the fire is a major loss for the community.
“It’s our only full-service restaurant that is open at this time of year and they employ a lot of people,” said Rafuse. “It’s a very bad thing for the community, but hopefully they’ll come back and build bigger and better than ever.”
Kürsten Kelly, a friend of the owners, set up a GoFundMe campaign to help staff who have lost their jobs.
The campaign can be accessed at: https://www.gofundme.com/mvc.php?route=homepage_norma/search&term=Glooscap%20tavern
The campaign is hoping to raise $8,000.
By Tuesday at 4 p.m., the campaign had raised $2,285.