Fire Fighting in Canada

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Another Maritimes church burns

Dec. 19, 2011, Inverness, N.S. - A 129-year-old church was destroyed in a fire Sunday morning in Nova Scotia.

December 18, 2011
By The Canadian Press

Fire departments in Cape Breton from Whycocomagh, Inverness and Lake Ainslie were all called to the East Lake Ainslie Presbyterian Church at 9 a.m. to battle the blaze.

Const. Brad Anderson with the Inverness RCMP said although there was a lot of smoke coming from the building when he arrived on the scene at about 9:40 a.m., there were no visible flames.

"However, within about half hour the flames had made their way through the roof of the church and in another half hour is was pretty clear the church wasn't going to be saved,'' Anderson said on Sunday.

"It was pretty much fully engulfed by that time.''

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Anderson says the church was built in 1882, but the congregation dates back to 1833. He said it was first built as a log church and was rebuilt in the mid-1880s before being rebuilt once again.

He said the church hall and nearby homes were not damaged.

"Certainly, there are no other buildings at risk at this point,'' he said.

He said the church was well used by the community.

Police do not view the fire as suspicious.

This is the third church to burn down in the Maritimes in recent weeks. The Victoria Presbyterian Church in Birch Grove, N.S., was just months away from its 100th anniversary when it was reduced to rubble on Dec. 10. The next day, the Roman Catholic church on the Kingsclear First Nation reserve near Fredericton was destroyed in another blaze.