King Street buildings destroyed in massive fire

by Keith Corcoran And Brittany Wentzell

Fire tore through a block of buildings in downtown Bridgewater, bringing around a dozen volunteer fire departments to fight the blaze into the early hours of the morning on October 23.

A 911 call was made at around 10:30 p.m. on October 22 reporting a possible structure fire at 535 King Street where the Greenway dispensary and Geeky Robar's Computer Services are located.

"Upon arrival we did have smoke showing and put in a second alarm in at that time," said Michael Nauss, chief of the Bridgewater Fire Department.

The tenants living above the businesses in the buildings escaped and there were no injuries. However, the blaze required the attendance of around a dozen fire departments, including all of those nearby and some from as far away as Chester and Liverpool.

  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>Buildings on King Street damaged in the late night fire.</p>
  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>The buildings sustained severe damage with at least one having its roof cave in.</p>
  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>King Street remained closed on October 23 so town employees can clean up debris.</p>
  • <p>BRONTE JAMES PHOTO</p><p>A firefighter stands on the old bridge looking on at the blaze engulfing buildings on King Street.</p>
  • <p>BRONTE JAMES PHOTO</p><p>Caution tape blocks off the scene.</p>
  • <p>KEITH CORCORAN PHOTO</p><p>Multiple volunteer fire departments battled this King Street building blaze in Bridgewater Sunday night and into Monday.</p>
  • <p>KEITH CORCORAN PHOTO</p><p>Multiple volunteer fire departments battled this King Street building blaze in Bridgewater Sunday night and into Monday.</p>
  • <p>KEITH CORCORAN PHOTO</p><p>Fire crews douse the burning former Cleve&#8217;s building with water.</p>

The row of wooden buildings, which house a tattoo parlour, a Rogers outlet, and a real estate agency as well, were severely damaged in the fire. From the street it appeared the roof had caved in on one. Another building had water pouring down the steps and on to the street. Debris from the fire was being cleared by Town of Bridgewater employees.

"[Lanna Thai] was also somewhat affected with smoke damage, but no fire damage done in that building," said Nauss.

At around 2:30 a.m. on October 23 firefighters started to gain control of the blaze. Firefighters were still on scene in the morning putting out hot spots and watching over as town employees started to clean up the street. Part of King Street remains closed.

The investigation into what caused the fire is just starting.

"We have no idea the cause right now, it's undetermined," said Nauss.

Bridgewater Police Services were also called to the scene and were still in attendance the next day.

"We will be conducting an investigation in conjunction with the fire marshall's office as well as Bridgewater Fire and a fire investigator within our own agency will also be attending the scene," said acting sergeant Matt Bennett, who was supervising the scene.

Bridgewater Police Services will be on the scene until the investigation is complete.

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