2017-11-01

King Street buildings gutted by fire coming down

by Gayle Wilson And Brittany Wentzell

  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>Volunteer firefighters putting out hot spots in the back of one of the buildings damaged in the Sunday night fire.</p>
  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>Firefighters and town officials observe the dousing of some hot spots on the scene.</p>
  • <p>GAYLE WILSON PHOTO</p><p>Lou Chaulk, estimator and project manager for Belfor Property Restoration of Dartmouth, which is conducting the demolition of the King Street buildings destroyed by fire Sunday night.</p>
  • <p>GAYLE WILSON PHOTO</p><p>Workers begin preparing for the demolition of the King Street buildings destroyed by fire Sunday night. Demolition and clean up is expected to take three or four days</p>

Demolition and clean up of the Bridgewater King Street buildings buildings destroyed by Sunday night's fire is expected to start sometime on October 25 and to take three or four days to complete.

"It's going to be totally demoed to the ground," said Lou Chaulk, who is with the Dartmouth company that is conducting the demolition.

"Everything except for the brick building. The restaurant is staying," said Chaulk, an estimator and project manager with Belfor Property Restoration of Dartmouth.

When LighthouseNOW spoke to Chaulk earlier today, she said the company was still working with the insurance companies and determining how many workers it would take to do the job and work.

"Logistics and all that are still being completed."

In any case, most of the activity is expected to take place in the back of the buildings, according to Chaulk.

"You're not going to see a whole lot from the front of the building ... because obviously we want to preserve all the work that was just done on the streets. They've just had new sidewalks. All new streets. We want to preserve it the best we can."

Meanwhile Bridgewater fire chief Mike Nauss told LighthouseNOW the department's firefighters were brought in this morning to deal with some hot spots again.

"It's just one of those strange things, the heat will stay in below and in cavities and rear its ugly head up once in a while," he said.

Bridgewater Police are also continuing their investigation into the cause of the fire.

Earlier this afternoon Scott Feener, acting chief of the Bridgewater police, told LighthouseNOW the scene had been turned over to the insurance companies involved with the structures, while private security had been brought in to monitor the scene until demolition is complete.

Feener said the location where the fire started is unknown.

"We weren't able to get inside to determine the exact point of origin," said Feener, adding that the fire appears to have started at the centre of the former Cleve's building.

"Basically we're just gathering all the information and it's now back to the police to complete its investigation."

Since a cause has not yet been determined, the fire will continue to be deemed suspicious and the investigation will continue, said Feener.

He declined to say whether arson is suspected.

"I can't answer that, I don't know."

However, Feener said witnesses have come forward regarding the case. Bridgewater Police Services are also awaiting a report from the Office of the Fire Marshall, which is conducting an investigation parallel to the police.

Sunday night's fire damaged a number of King Street businesses, including a wholesale store, a marijuana dispensary, tattoo parlour, and a Rogers outlet. Twelve fire departments, including ones from as far away as Chester and Liverpool, were brought in to the battle the blaze that lasted into the early morning hours.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Bridgewater Police Service.

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