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Fire at wharf in Yarmouth County destroys several boats

Several boats were damaged in a fire on Thursday near Yarmouth. (Loren Cushing - image credit)
Several boats were damaged in a fire on Thursday near Yarmouth. (Loren Cushing - image credit)

Several boats were destroyed by fire at a wharf just east of Yarmouth, N.S.

RCMP Const. Dominic Laflamme said a report of the fire was called in around 10:50 p.m. on Thursday at Pembroke Wharf on Chegoggin Point Road.

Upon arrival, RCMP officers say they found three fishing boats that had been tied together engulfed in flames.

Loren Cushing, a councillor with the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth and harbour manager for the Chegoggin Point Harbour Authority, said he lives just about a kilometre away from where the fire was and witnessed the blaze Thursday night.

He said he and his wife heard a loud bang and looked out of a window to see "a big ball of flame."

"I got dressed and rushed down to the wharf…. By then there were some fishermen there trying to save their boats," he said.

"It was a very stressful time and the boats were just ablaze and the fire department was able to come quickly here. A lot of mutual aid showed up with water tankers. It was a battle all night long."

RCMP say they don't believe the fire is suspicious. (Loren Cushing)

He said three boats were destroyed by the fire, including the Pembroke Princess, the Knot Telling and the Ethan & Renee.

Cushing also said some time Friday morning after they thought the fire was extinguished, it reignited on one of the boats.

"I've lived here all my life. We always talked about, when the fishermen got together, 'We hope we never have a fire at our wharf,'" he said.

Now the key concern is whether insurance will be able to cover the damage to the boats, Cushing said.

"The repercussions of this will be felt by many for years," he said.

Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood echoed the sentiment and said the blow to the fishery is hard to quantify.

"This is huge … and it's so sad," she said. "It's tremendously difficult right now to even think about the economics of it because that's not what's important now. But we know these are families now with without an income."

Mood said she was still trying to gather information about the blaze.

RCMP say they don't believe the fire is suspicious. The fire marshal is expected at the scene Friday.

RCMP officers say they found three fishing boats that had been tied together engulfed in flames Thursday night. (Ervin Olsen)

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