Firefighters worked tirelessly to prevent spread to nearby structure
Realizing there wasn’t much they could do to save the building, more than 20 volunteer firefighters from Carbonear worked relentlessly Wednesday afternoon to contain a fire at the old Bond Theatre on Water Street.
The old Bond Theatre on Water Street in Carbonear was reduced to rubble in a fire that started around lunchtime Wednesday. Here, firefighters work to extinguish the blaze. — Photo by Terry Roberts/The Compass
Firefighters started arriving at the scene at about 1:30 p.m., and were forced to pry open the front door.
Almost immediately, smoke started pouring from the building as crews raced to set up hoses and position the brigade’s aerial ladder and pumper truck.
Teams attacked the fire from every angle, but once fire set in, it quickly became apparent that con-
tainment was the only option.
For most of the afternoon, the entire downtown area of Carbonear was covered in a chalky haze as dense smoke billowed from the old wooden structure at the intersection of Water and Bond streets. Several businesses closed their doors and sent employees home.
Area streets were also closed for an extended time.
The building was most recently used as a base for a business called The Trophy Hut. An employee at the scene said inventory was being removed from the building in order to make room for a co-operative for those wanting to sell art and other items.
A collection of antique furniture was also stored in the building.
Workers left the building just before 1 p.m. to eat lunch, and were notified a short time later that smoke was coming from the structure.
The worker suggested the fire must be the result of an electrical malfunction, since “none of us in there smoke.”
After several tense hours, firefighters got the upper hand and felt confident enough to say that all neighbouring structures, including dwellings, apartments and businesses, would be safe.
By 5 p.m., much of the building had collapsed as firefighters continued to douse the charred remnants.
It’s not known what caused the fire, but the building is a total loss.
Luckily, the winds were light, which aided firefighters’ efforts to stop the fire from spreading.