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Interested in becoming a Volunteer Firefighter?Sussex Fire Department will be holding an information session at the Sussex Fire Hall on June 26, 2017 at 7pm.
Stop in to the fire hall to pick up your application between 7am and 5pm or call
432-4542to book an appointment.
Attendance at this information Session is required for any applicants and it is suggested that their families also attend.
You can also submit a comment on our Contact Us Page!
Every year Muscular Dystrophy Canada recognizes a Fire Department/Association from Atlantic Canada that has demonstrated overall excellence throughout the past year in fundraising, public relations, service and/or advocacy work. I am very pleased to announce that the Sussex Fire Department has been awarded Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s Atlantic Fire Department of the Year honors for 2016-17.
|May 1, 2017||Atlantic Fire Fighters supporting Muscular Dystrophy Canada|
Please read the attached link.
Kidde Re-call: Talking Combination Smoke & CO Alarms
|November 10, 2016||Fire Marshall-Douglas Browne|
WARDS CREEK - A well-known Kings County farmer was forced to watch in disbelief as a huge part of his livelihood burned to the ground, killing approximately 150 cattle.
Firefighters were up all night Wednesday battling a blaze that engulfed Frank Friars' barn just outside Sussex, but were not able to save the building or animals inside, leaving a hole in Friars' cattle and calf operation.
"I was in disbelief, there was no reason for a fire," he said. "The whole barn was engulfed [by the time I got there]."
The Sussex Fire Department arrived on the scene of the fire around 8:10 p.m. Wednesday night, along with about half of the town, Chief Harold Lowe said.
"I think everyone from Sussex came out to see this," he said. "Our trucks had to go in and around vehicles and it was down to half a lane in some places."
Lowe said in small communities like Sussex, it's common to see people jump into their cars and race to the scene of a fire, but that's not always the best for emergency responders trying to do their jobs.
Traffic is commonly a headache for firefighters, he said, and people should opt to stay at home instead of following fire trucks or any other emergency vehicle.
"If you want to watch what's going on, watch the TV," he said. "It's really hard when there's only so much room for us to work."
Sussex RCMP were forced to shut down the roads leading to the barn about an hour after the fire broker out to prevent people from coming to see the damage.
Lowe said there was little firefighters could do to save the building, or the animals inside, upon arriving.
"When we got the call, we arrived and it was already fully engulfed by the fire," he said. "By the time we got there, the roof of the main structure of the barn came down. There wasn't a lot we could do except for exterior attack."
Friars said he's not completely sure how many cattle he lost, but that the majority of them didn't get out in time.
"There's still a lot of carcasses in there, he said, but most of them were euthanized by a veterinarian Thursday morning.
Friars wasn't home when the fire broke out, finding out about the news after his son called.
Friars said he isn't sure if he's going to rebuild and is just focusing on the next step: cleaning up.
"It's all up in the air aout what to do next," he said.
Firefighters were on the scene all night, Lowe said, with some flare-ups happening Thursday morning.
Fire departments from Hammond-Jefferies, Millstream, Penobsquis and Norton also responded to the blaze.
There were some minor injuries, including smoke inhalation and some minor burns, but nothing major, Lowe said.
Tankers had to transfer water in from the nearby town of Sussex to help firefighters battle the blaze. That was a struggle at the start, Lowe said, but once a flowing system was worked out, the water coming in remained consistent.
"That was the hardest thing, getting the water," he said. "But once we got the tankers lined up and got a water supply, we had them waiting to dump, so we were able to get ahead of the game there."
Lowe said there's no ruling on the cause of the fire yet and an investigation will be done. There was a fire ban in place for most of the province at the time of the blaze, with Kings County being one of the few exceptions. On Wednesday, burning in the county was permitted from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Thursday morning.
|June 23, 2016||Tamara Gravelle/Kings County Record|
Interested in becoming a Volunteer Firefighter?Sussex Fire Department will be holding an information session at the Sussex Fire Hall on June 1, 2016 at 7pm.
June 7, 2016 at 7pm will be the Agility, Physical and Interviews for interested candidates (wear comfortable clothing)
Stop in to the fire hall to pick up your application between 7am and 5pm or call
432-4542to book an appointment.
Attendance at this information Session is required for any applicants and it is suggested that their families also attend.
You can also submit a comment on our Contact Us Page!
The Sussex RCMP is investigating a suspected arson and seeking public information that could help in the investigation.
On February 21, 2016, shortly after 6 a.m., police responded to a report of a fire at Arbing Equipment Ltd., on Aiton Road in Sussex. The fire caused extensive damage to the main building, as well as to a pickup truck parked out front of the building and two farm tractors parked nearby. The investigation has led police to believe that the fire was deliberately set.
Anyone with information, or who may have seen anyone in the vicinity of the business in the early morning hours of February 21, is asked to contact the Sussex RCMP at 506-433-7700. Information can also be provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), texting TIP212 + your message to 'CRIMES' (274637), or by Secure Web Tips at www.crimenb.ca.
Cpl. Manon Mackenzie Sussex Detachment Southeast District RCMP 506-433-7700
|February 22, 2016||rcmp-grc.gc.ca|
Fire crews from five departments fought an early-morning blaze in Sussex, N.B., on Sunday that destroyed a farm equipment business.
A captain with the Sussex Fire Department is the one who made the 911 call.
“The back part of the shop with whatever machinery is there is smoke covered so there's going to be some damage that way but it's all still standing,” said Sussex Fire Chief Harold Lowe.
Pam Arbing-Northrup's father started the company in 1965. She eventually took over the family business.
“We can't go in to see what has happened until the fire marshal gives us the ok,” she said. “It's only been the fire department people that have been out back into the building.”
The blaze is another blow to the community, which has seen its share of hard times lately. The potash plant closed in January, putting 430 people out of work. Now the 12 full-time employees are also without a job.
“It's not as big of a blow, but it's still a blow to the community because we're a family business,” said Arbing-Northrup. “It's not all family that works here but we are all one big family.”
Glen Wood agrees. He brought donuts and muffins for both the firefighters and the business owners who have been on site since 6 a.m.
“This is devastating,” said Wood. “On top of the mine closing, I'm not so sure how much more this small town can handle.”
Nobody was inside when the fire started. The fire marshal and RCMP are investigating the cause.
|February 21, 2016||CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis|
SUSSEX * Fire has destroyed a two-storey home on Main Street in Sussex, confirmed Sussex Fire Chief Harold Lowe.
Firefighters were called to the fiery scene around 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, and battled the blaze well into the afternoon.
By 3 p.m. Lowe said, the fire had been knocked down by the large contingent of firefighters on scene.
Water was still being pumped onto the structure to reach hot spots in the wall, he said.
Meanwhile, the fire marshall was on his way to determine the cause of the fire.
"There were people home but they got out," Lowe said. "No one was injured."
A family cat is believed to have run away from the scene to find safety.
Lowe said the house, located across from Sussex Elementary School, was being rented by a family.
The Millstream Fire Department assisted on the call, and also provided support to help cover any calls in the area while the Sussex department was fighting fire.
Freezing temperatures added some challenges, Lowe said.
"We had a hydrant we couldn't get water out of. We're not sure if it was frozen or what," he said. The members were able to extend a hose to grab the water from another hydrant nearby.
|January 19, 2016||Tammy-Scott Wallace/Kings County Record|
Firefighters were called to Poley Mountain's new lodge Monday morning.
WATERFORD * The ribbon hasn't even been cut on the new lodge at Poley Mountain, and already firefighters had to make an emergency call there.
Fire trucks rushing to the hill Monday morning isn't exactly the sight general manager Bill Anderson wanted to see again.
Shortly after 8 a.m the Sussex fire department responded to a 911 call to the ski lodge. According to Anderson, there was a malfunction in the ventilation system that caused a lot of smoke to fill the air of the building.
Skiers, as they arrived at the hill to hit the slopes, were not allowed inside.
"I was scared," Anderson said. "When you can smell something burning, you kind of panic.
"I couldn't find where it was coming from - it's not a good feeling."
Anderson said he is grateful the smoke wasn't intense enough to cause the sprinker system to go off and cause the big mess in the building that still has a new construction smell.
It was a manageable problem, but just one year after a massive fire destroyed Poley's lodge, it felt much too close for comfort, even for the firefighters.
Fire Captain Joel Wanamaker said three fire trucks, including the department's ladder truck, responded to the call and all of its manpower rushed to the scene. Millstream and Penobsquis departments, he said, were on standby to cover the rest of the region as all the Sussex department's resources went to Waterford.
"I think we all treat an alarm up there different than we did in the past," he said. "I think we were all thinking the same thing when we were heading up there - 'they don't want to lose it this quick.' "
Wanamaker was on site Dec. 9, 2014, when the lodge became an inferno.
This time Wanamaker said the problem was quickly located and the power disconnected to the source of the electrical burning smell. Firefighters returned to the detachment shortly after they checked out the call.
Poley Mountain's lodge was rebuilt over the past several months and is now open to skiers and snowboarders. Its official opening and ribbon cutting will take place this weekend.
|January 18, 2016||Tammy-Scott Wallace/Kings County Record|
SUSSEX - An accident closed the westbound lane of Highway 1 between Sussex and Norton. No one was transfered to hospital.
Traffic was closed in the westbound lane on Highway 1 between Sussex and Norton due to an accident early on Thursday. Cpl. Mark Ward of the Sussex RCMP said a tractor-trailer hit another vehicle while travelling near mile marker 186. The call came in for the accident at 8:53 a.m.
"One transport ran right into the back of another truck," he said. The other truck was a large dump truck, he said.
Police, fire and amublance all reported to the scene, but no one was transferred to hospital.
"There were no injuries, which is always what we want to see," he said.
Gateway, which plows the highway in that area, also responded to the scene to help divert traffic and clean up, he said.
"Gateway did a great job," he said. "They were working non-stop after the storm and they came back out to help us out which is very good of them."
The accident happened on a hill by mile marker 186, a trouble area for RCMP, Ward said.
"We've had trouble with that hill before," he said. "It would happen where someone would run into the back of another vehicle,"
He said it's normal for larger vehicles to have to slow down while going up the hill and the locals know that, but someone from out of town might not.
"Some of those big trucks will slow down quite a bit and when you're going highway speeds, you're not used to seeing a slower vehicle," he said.
There was also a little bit of liquid spilled, but not enough to be a major concern, Ward said, and it most likely was just engine liquid.
Traffic was diverted to the eastbound lane until the accident was cleaned up. The lane opened back up to traffic around 1 p.m.
|January 18, 2016||Photos:Tamara Gravell, Tammy Scott-Wallace/Telegraph Journal|
Help share Sparky's 12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety Messages with our 12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety eCard. You can either share or download from the link to our Google account below.
Who doesn't like to climb up in a fire truck? Come celebrate Fire Prevention Week at the Fire Station.
You are invited to our open house event this Saturday, October 10, 2015 from 10am until 1pm.
Bring your family and come see the Fire Station, meet Sparky and the firefighters, pick up some free gifts and learn more about fire prevention! For children of all ages!
Martin Head • The Fundy Footpath is a 50-kilometre trail. Two hikers became stranded on a rockface east of St. Martin's on Wednesday and had to be rescued.
On August 19, 2015, at around 9:30 p.m., Sussex RCMP responded to a report of hikers in distress off the Fundy Trail, east of St. Martin's, N.B. The hikers, two men in their twenties, had left the trail and attempted to climb a cliff. One hiker became stranded on the cliff face and was unable to climb up or down. The hikers had cell phones and were able to contact police. Although the location was known, the darkness, fog and terrain prohibited responders from reaching the hikers.
The Sussex Fire Department, Saint John Fire Department High Angle Rescue Team, a Joint Rescue Coordination Centre helicopter and Search and Rescue Technicians were called in for assistance. The hikers were located but due to the darkness they could not be safely rescued until daylight. Rescuers ensured they were secure and at around 7:30 a.m. on August 20, 2015, both hikers were safely rescued, uninjured
|August 20, 2015||RCMP|
Interested in becoming a Volunteer Firefighter?Sussex Fire Department will be holding an information session at the Sussex Fire Hall on August 12, 2015 at 7pm.
Stop in to the fire hall to pick up your application between 7am and 4pm or call
432-4542to book an appointment.
Attendance at this information Session is required for any applicants and it is suggested that their families also attend.
You can also submit a comment on our Contact Us Page!
SUSSEX CORNER • One man is temporarily displaced from his house after a fire started at the Post Road residence in Sussex Corner.
The Sussex Fire Department arrived on scene at about 6:15 Monday morning. No one was hurt and it took about two hours to extinguish the blaze and cleanup.
However, fire chief Harold Lowe says the early morning fire caused some structural damage in the house’s bottom level and the rest of the structure is now suffering from a significant amount of smoke damage.
“There was just the one person in the house and he was able to safely get out. He was the one to place the emergency call once he got out,” Lowe said.
The Canadian Red Cross has been notified about the situation and will be coming to help the homeowner.
“It’s going to be a little while before he’ll be able to be back at his home full-time,” Lowe said. “There’s still a lot of cleanup that has to be done.”
Lowe says the blaze was an electrical one which started in the home’s basement.
|March 23, 2015||Kayla Byrne/KCR|
SUSSEX • Smoke damage may lead to the demise of one home on Holman Avenue, just off of Maple Avenue in Sussex.
The Sussex Fire Department was called in at about 7:15 Thursday morning. Fire chief Harold Lowe says the home’s resident was away at work, and it was a bystander who made the emergency call after seeing smoke leaving the house.
Lowe says the fire department was able to contain the fire to one room and a portion of a hallway, but he says the house experienced a lot of smoke damage.
“Even though it was confined to one room and some of the hallway, I don’t know if the house can be saved due to the extensive smoke damage,” Lowe said. The person living at the home was notified and was able to leave work to come see the damage. Lowe says he does not know if the person has another place to stay as of right now.
“I’ll have to check into that, but the person was only there for a short while and then went back to work,” Lowe said. “The person was renting the place so I’m not sure what happens there.”
The cause of the morning blaze is still unknown. Lowe says the Fire Marshall will be heading to the scene this morning.
“Hopefully the cause will be determined,” Lowe said.
Sussex was the only fire department on scene. No one was hurt and it took about an hour to fully put out the fire.
|March 11, 2015||Kayla Byrne/KCR|
WATERFORD ROAD• About 20 cows are dead after the roof of a dairy barn collapsed on the morning of Wednesday, Mar. 4.
Sussex fire department’s deputy chief Joel Wannamaker says the call came in a little after 11 a.m. When the fire department arrived to the Waterford Road property -near Sussex- they discovered about 70 cows were trapped on both sides of the large barn.
“The roof had collapsed in the middle where the feeding station was so the milking area was fine, but that left about 30 cows on one side trapped and about 40 to 45 trapped on the other side,” Wannamaker said.
The side which had trapped about 30 cows was an easier fix than the other side.
“We were able to get them out through the trusses, but the other side was a lot harder to get at,” Wannamaker said.
The Sussex department called in the Penobsquis and Millstream fire departments to add some extra man power.
“They brought in some chain saws too, so they were used to help free the cows,” Wannamaker said.
The deputy chief added no people were in the barn at the time the roof collapsed.
“Thankfully someone had just gone in and done the morning feeding. It wasn’t too long that they had been there that the roof collapsed,” he said.
It wasn’t just the firefighters helping out. Wannamaker says he was surprised at how many local farmers showed up to lend a hand at the Waterford Road barn.
“I’ve seen today that the local farming family really comes out to help when another farmer needs it,” he said. “We (at the fire department) aren’t farmers and we don’t know the best way to handle cattle so it was really helpful having people who knew the best way to deal with animals.
“It was nice to see that kind of support for a barn that needed some saving.”
While the call came in around 11 a.m., the last living cow wasn’t freed until about 2:30 in the afternoon.
Wannamaker says while all hands from the Sussex department were helping free the cows, the fire departments from Norton and Millstream tended to any other emergency calls which came from the Sussex area.
|March 4, 2015||Kayla Byrne/KCR|
SUSSEX • A fire early this morning forced several people out of their apartments on Broad Street in Sussex. Sussex fire chief Harold Lowe says the fire broke out in one of the units on the third floor of Rail Yard Place apartments at around 3 a.m. “The fire was contained to one unit,” Lowe said. Despite Sussex, Millstream, and Penobsquis fire departments’ quick actions, Lowe says residents from the whole third floor and some of the second floor were evacuated for the night. “No one was hurt and most of the damage was to that one unit,” Lowe said. Fire crews remained on scene for about two and a half hours. Lowe says the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
|March 3, 2015||Kayla Byrne/KCR|
WATERFORD - The snowy hills of Poley Mountain was not the typical scene of winter play Tuesday night as fire ripped through the expansive lodge that overlooks the valley of rural Waterford.
Sussex Deputy Fire Chief Joel Wanamaker said while the provincial fire marshall will investigate the fire, there are no indications it is suspicious. He said the fire was fully involved and therefore nothing could be saved when he arrived.
It was shortly before 7 p.m. when firefighters were called to the main lodge of Poley Mountain, about 10 minutes southeast of Sussex. The building is the main hub of activity for the resort, and is where kitchen facilities and the cafeteria are located, ski and snowboarding equipment is rented and staff offices are housed.
General manager Bill Anderson estimates about $3 million in losses – including the lodge, and the equipment and contents inside. All the food and alcohol for the start of the season had been stocked, staff hired and new rental equipment placed in inventory.
“We’ve lost nearly everything, but we still have the ski hill,” Anderson said, “and people will be skiing on it this winter.”
Anderson said he was watching the news at his nearby Waterford home when he got a call from the resort’s security company saying a fire alarm was sounding. The security company’s dispatch had already called 911.
“As soon as I came around the corner the roof was on fire,” said Anderson, who has worked at Poley since it opened with its modest lodge in 1970.
Since then Poley Mountain has become what it markets as the Mountain of Fun, drawing big crowds to the Sussex region every winter. It’s success revolves around the ski hill’s continual improvements in state-of-the art snowmaking equipment that allows the mountain to be open longer than many others in the business, and with premium ski conditions.
The lodge that went up in flames Tuesday night was built in 1988.
"It too more than 20 years to build, and it's all gone in two hours," Anderson said from the fiery scene that had fire departments from Sussex, Millstream, Penobsquis, Norton and Hammond-Jeffries assist with all the equipment they had to offer.
Because the area is rural, firefighters depended on the ski hill’s water pump it uses for the snowmaking system, and they made constant treks for water fill ups at the Sussex Corner Elementary School several kilometres away.
While the fire was shocking and devastating, Anderson said, no one was hurt. He is grateful for that. The lodge was empty when the fire started as far as he is aware.
He said skiers and snowboarders will not lose their season. Poley had just announced Tuesday morning that due to wet weather conditions it would delay its planned opening for a week from this Friday to Dec. 19. It is too early to say if that goal can still be reached.
Long-time member of the Poley Mountain board of directors, Stephen Moffett, said Poley Mountain will rise from the ashes.
“This is something we never expected to see,” he said. “We’ve already made tonnes and tonnes of snow. We were ready to open next week.
“There’s never good timing for something like this but it couldn’t be worse.”
He said a board meeting is already schedule for Wednesday morning to discuss a swift plan of action to save the season.
“There’s no question we will rebuild,” he said. “It will be bigger and better in time for next season but for now we have to find a way to salvage the season, that’s all there is to it.”
He said the board, with Poley staff, will find a way to put temporary facilities in place to accommodate skiers and snowboarders with food, rentals and other essentials this season.
|December 9, 2014||Tammy Scott-Wallace/Telegraph Journal|
SUSSEX-Police in Sussex hope to identify two subjects of interest who may have information about a suspicious fire at the Cowtown Market in Sussex that broke out early Wednesday, damaging the building.
“Our investigation has identified two suspicious youth in the area at the time,” said RCMP Sgt. Dale Morgan on Wednesday afternoon. At this point police don’t know if they were involved with starting the fire, he said.
“They may even be witnesses,” Morgan said.
Morgan, who said the two were spotted on surveillance video from the area, did not have a description of them to give out and said at this point police would just like to speak with them.
The market, which has operated seasonally on Main Street near Tim Hortons for 19 years, sells produce and homemade crafts. It sustained heavy fire damage along its back wall and up into the roof.
Emergency crews were called around 2:30 a.m. July 2 according to RCMP Const. Rob Driscoll, who said when he arrived flames were licking up the back wall of the building.
“It’s definitely suspicious just because of the time of the fire. It’s going to require more investigation,” Driscoll said from the scene.“Some of the fire got into the interior,” said Sussex fire Chief Harold Lowe just after 4 a.m. from the scene. “It was beginning to get into the ceiling or attic area.”
The fire had also spread into the basement. He said he wasn’t sure if the building would be salvageable or not. ?Lowe said the interior of the market has smoke and water damage. Firefighters cut holes in the walls to help put out the fire and vent the structure. Firefighters left the scene at 5 a.m.
The cause of the fire remains undetermined after an investigator with the provincial fire marshal’s office probed the scene after the sun rose in the morning.
After the investigator finished and police released the scene, the owner of Cowtown Market and employees were sorting through damaged contents of store.
The proprietors of the market declined an interview.
A short message was posted to the market’s Facebook page saying it would remain closed until further notice.
“We’re fighters we will be back,” said the post, which also asked anyone with information about how the fire began to call the RCMP at 433-7700.
|July 2, 2014||Shane Magee/KCR|
SUSSEX • A man was hospitalized after colliding with a tanker truck Wednesday afternoon. Sussex RCMP Const. Jonathan Murphy said the man suffered two broken legs and chest trauma after driving into the back of a fuel transport truck, which sent the man’s Toyota Tundra off the road and into a cliff face around 2:30 p.m. The eastbound lanes of Highway 1 were temporarily closed to traffic following the accident. The Norton & Sussex Fire Departments were dispatched to the scene near mile marker 186. Firefighters cut the roof off the vehicle to remove the man. They then shielded the activity at the rear of the pickup truck from the highway using a tarp. One of the eastbound lanes reopened to traffic after the person was removed from the vehicle. The clean up of the scene was wrapping up just after 3:30 p.m. Murphy said the uphill grade had the transport truck travelling slowly when the Tundra rear-ended it. The transport truck only received minor damage to the rear.
|May 14, 2014||Sam Laidman/KCR|
PICADILLY • The provincial fire marshal is still investigating a fire that extensively damaged the Sussex ranger station fire Tuesday in Picadilly. Sussex fire Chief Harold Lowe said Wednesday evening the fire isn’t considered suspicious.
He said the fire marshal has a theory about what caused the fire, but is doing more research.
Lowe didn’t want to elaborate on the theory yet.
The provincial Department of Natural Resources is looking at what to do in the wake of the fire.
“The building is a loss – the current operations for the Sussex district will be handled out of the Hampton building as a temporary measure until a contingency plan is in place,” said Neil Jacobson, the acting director of Region 3 for the Department of Natural Resources. Region 3 roughly covers the southern part of the province.
Fire crews from Sussex and surrounding communities were called to the office at 207 Picadilly Rd., about 10 minutes east of the town, just after 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
The building, with several garage bays, had smoke pouring from the eaves troughs when firefighters arrived.
Shortly after, flames burst through the roof. The roof over the centre portion of the building was completely destroyed and the offices on the main level suffered water and smoke damage.
Jacobson said 12 natural resource and two energy and mines department employees were based in the building.
“We’re thankful nobody was hurt. That’s our primary concern, the safety of our staff,” he said.
Because many of the employees work from vehicles, Jacobson said they’ll be able to continue working locally.
“It’s fortunate that our staff are a mobile group.”
Several expensive pieces of equipment, including all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles and a tanker truck used to help fight forest fires were all saved from the building.
“They saved a lot of our assets,” Jacobson said, expressing his thanks to the hard work of the fire departments that battled the blaze.
The building sits on 22.1 hectares of land owned by the province.
Property records show the parcel was valued at $467,200 for the 2014 tax year.
At the time of the interview, Jacobson said staff had not had the chance to reenter the building since the fire to evaluate what other equipment, such as computers, is damaged or destroyed.
The office did contain evidence for investigations by the fish and wildlife division.
After the fire was extinguished, RCMP held the scene and then it was under the fire marshal’s watch he said, so the evidence was secured.
“At this time, staff are of the strong belief that none of the case files have been compromised,” Jacobson said.
Asked whether the department considering not closing the Hampton natural resources office as planned because of the fire, Jacobson said it was too early to say.
He said staff was offered counselling services Wednesday.
Forest fire season is now underway across the province. Jacobson said if needed, crews are still able to respond.
Lowe, the fire chief, said in the course of fighting the fire, a firefighter was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.
“I think he was just overworked,” Lowe said.
|April 22, 2014||Shane MaGee/Kings County Record|
SUSSEX • High water crippled the Sussex region on Wednesday, causing hundreds of people to abandon their homes.
Emergency crews used boats to reach residents stranded in their flooding homes, and many of them are not expected to be able to return home for several days.
At the edge of the water on Holman Avenue, which was washing down the street from nearby Trout Creek, Erin Dunfield watched as firefighters waded through the water to reach her grandmother’s house.
“The water is up to her door, we’re kind of worried because we can’t get a hold of her,” she said. Main roadways in Sussex were closed, and businesses like Tim Hortons downtown became an island. The Gateway Mall at the western edge of the town was closed as water surrounded the complex.
By lunch time, firefighters had made about 70 emergency evacuations.
Seniors waited as fire rescue vehicles pulled up to meet them and wade through the waist-high water, as apartments on Golding Street and Wallace Court were evacuated Wednesday morning.
Dorothy Hutchinson waited on her front stoop, its wooden slats soggy and starting to float as she waved the firefighters down.
“I was shocked when I woke up this morning to this. I never thought this could happen. My stuff is floating around everywhere outside,” Hutchinson said.
After picking her up along with two neighbours, the firefighters tied a ribbon to her front door to signify the home was empty and they had already been there.
An exhausted Sussex Fire Chief Harold Lowe said firefighters, by about 1 p.m., had run non-stop rescuing people.Most of them, if they didn’t have a family member or friend to stay with, were shuttled to Kingswood University chapel.
“We’ve been doing this since 6 a.m.,” Lowe said as the pace seemed to slow at the fire department, which served as the hub of rescue operations throughout the day.
“The water seems to have crested and dropped back a bit so we are starting to see things slow down now.”
He said firefighters used trucks, boats and its Argo to make rescues.
Lowe said the day was exhausting and emotional as firefighters were called to homes to help seniors, families with small children and even those in wheelchairs to safety.
“I’ve had so many people say they have never seen it like this,” he said, choking up when he spoke of the volunteers and their relentless efforts throughout the day.
“I’m amazed by what’s happened today at the fire department,” he said. “There’s a lot of pride from these volunteers in their community, and a lot of love for their neighbours.
“They are doing everything they can to help.”
The village of Sussex Corner called a state of emergency Wednesday morning, which empowered the mayor of about 1,450 people to force evacuations and to open warming centres, as well as call in resources from the province.
“It’s a trying day – I feel for everyone that lost their personal belongings,” said Sussex Corner mayor Steven Gillies.
Water levels rose quickly within the municipalities. Basements filled fast and streets went under water.Sussex Mayor Marc Thorne explained the drainage basin for the communities goes about 50 kilometres outside the area for both the Kennebecasis River and Trout Creek. He said with the late spring and heavy thaw of a lot of snow accumulated in the woods and fields in recent days, in addition to about 20 to 25 millimetres of new rain over night, “it was just too much for the river system. Trout Creek and the Kennebecasis River were already at capacity.”
Many residents who cannot get back into their homes will be spending the night on campus either on a cot provided by the Red Cross or in available university dorm rooms.
“Of the people left out of their homes, there will be many who cannot return to their homes tonight. The power source will have to be inspected and cleared,” Thorne said.
“We know that will come as hard news to some because they want to get back into their homes.”
Thorne said the focus shifted early in the morning for emergency workers from the protection of property, to the protection of people. People were being encouraged to abandon their properties and seek higher ground.
Schools in the area were closed around 9:30 a.m.
The rain turned to ice pellets around noon before the sun came out.
By late afternoon, the water level was starting to drop but there were still calls coming for help from those needing to be rescued.
Sussex’s mayor said the community rose above the high water mark during the flood disaster.
“What happened here in Sussex today is devastating but it’s overwhelming to see the way the community has come together,” Thorne said.
“People in every neighbourhood, whether they are flooded themselves or not, are reaching out to neighbours to lend a hand to help them move things or get to somewhere dry. This has happened everywhere in the community.”
And when the town called for emergency support, four outside fire departments and their equipment responded, including Hampton, Norton, Millstream and Penobsquis.
The areas of Sussex hardest hit are Wallace Court, Pine Street, Golding Street, Holman and McLean streets, Clover Court subdivision, and about 60 per cent of the village of Sussex Corner flooded, according to its mayor.
Kings East MLA and Public Safety Minster Bruce Northrup said he was in the legislature Wednesday morning when he got the news of the flooding. He cancelled afternoon meetings and headed to his riding to offer his support.
“You can’t control Mother Nature,” he said when he stopped into the fire station where sirens screamed and volunteers moved quickly.
“Everything happened so quickly this morning, but everyone has responded 110 per cent.”
Premier David Alward plans to be in Sussex on Thursday morning to visit with victims and responders.
|April 17, 2014||Tammy Scott Wallace, Shane MaGee Laura MacInnis/Telegraph Journal|
Firefighters put water on a fire at a home on the Knightville Road on Dec 29 with the help of their ladder truck.
MOUNT PISGAH – The fire marshal has deemed a Sunday evening fire that destroyed the home of a Sussex-area couple and killed several of their dogs was accidental.
Harold Lowe, the Sussex fire chief, said Monday afternoon the investigation hasn’t pinpointed an exact cause, though.
There were three people living at the house, including the couple’s daughter visiting home for the holidays.
Dan Bedell with the Canadian Red Cross said local disaster assistance volunteers have provided help to the family including food, clothing and personal hygiene items.
Bedell said the couple will stay with family.
Smoke and flames shot from the home at 432 Knightville Rd., about 12 kilometres north of Sussex, on Sunday, drawing three fire departments to fight the flames.
Fire crews were called out 4:45 p.m. to a report of fire coming from the front door and windows of the home.
“When firefighters got there it (fire) was coming out more of the windows,” Lowe said.
The tin roof meant once the fire got into the attic, it was harder to reach by firefighters, who used the Sussex ladder truck to spray water on the roof from above.
“The fire was stubborn because it got up into the attic,” he said.
Lowe said the front portion of the house was destroyed, but several rooms in the back only suffered smoke and water damage.
He said the uninsured house is still likely a total loss.
No one was home at the time of the fire.
“There were three or four dogs that didn’t make it,” he said.
According to Lowe, the homeowner said no one had been home since 11 a.m. and there hadn’t been a fire in the wood stove since the previous night. The Millstream and Penobsquis fire departments were also called to shuttle water to the scene.
Lowe said Sussex had 19 firefighters helping battle the fire.
Road conditions meant a slower response time than usual, the chief said.
The homeowner declined to comment Sunday evening.
Lowe said he believed the man and wife stayed with family overnight in Poodiac.
|December 30, 2013||Shane MaGee/KCR|
A new structure at the Sussex fire department includes a leadership consisting of, from left, Fire Chief Harold Lowe, Deputy Fire Chief Joel Wanamaker and Assistant Deputy Chief Chris Doherty.
SUSSEX — A new structure intended to curb the risk of burnout for firefighting volunteers has unfolded at the Sussex fire department.
In recent years town council in Sussex has been taking steps to create a reasonable pace for its fire service workers that allows them to continue battling blazes without having to compromise family life.
About five years ago the town created its first full-time position in hiring one of its firefighters, Joel Wanamaker, as full-time operator. That allowed a body to be on staff throughout the day for the first time within the department to ease the paperwork, training and call responsibilities historically placed on volunteers.
Then this fall, after both Fire Chief Bill Wanamaker and his brother-in-law Deputy Chief Bob Candy resigned their roles to free up personal time, the town decided to hire its first full-time chief in Harold Lowe.
He took the position a month ago, creating a second full-time presence at the department during the daytime.
With Lowe in place as chief by council, as they always have done the firefighters themselves voted Joel Wanamaker to fill in the role of deputy chief to accompany his duties as full-time operator. The deputy chief’s job continues to be a volunteer role with a stipend for the responsibility.
Also new is the volunteer role of assistant deputy chief, put in place for the first time to lighten the load on the chief and deputy chief. Chris Doherty, a paramedic, will serve in the new role, chosen by the firefighters themselves.
“It’s not really a new direction, but it’s expanding the direction that was already there,” Lowe said of the new face of leadership at the 40-member department.
“The burnout factor is there if you work people all the time. We saw that with Bill and Bob when they retired – they wanted to get their lives back,” he added.
He said under the new model each of the three men will rotate weeks to be on-call to oversee emergency calls when they come in. They can still respond to any call as they always have, but the system puts a guaranteed body in place to take the lead to organize response.
"This is a way to give a break to the same person having to respond to the pager,” Lowe said, admitting many volunteer departments have been outspoken about the decline of volunteers because of the time commitment.
“Hopefully with the new structure we will have people lasting in the positions more than five years,” Doherty added. “It’s a huge time commitment to serve on a volunteer department – we’re a lot busier than we’ve been in the past.”
Lowe said the Sussex fire department responds to about 220 calls a year.
“That’s a busy little department,” the chief said
Joel Wanamaker has served on the department for 11 years, and Doherty 13 years.
Next month four captains and four lieutenants will be chosen by the firefighter membership to fill the vacancies in those roles, two of which were held by Wanamaker and Doherty before their recent promotions.
Joel Wanamaker, who knows the reality of leaving special family events with his father and uncle serving in leadership roles at the department, said the new system will allow him, Lowe and Doherty to schedule and actually attend occasions that are important to their personal lives.
Sussex Mayor Marc Thorne said the suggestion for the new structure came to council by outgoing chief Wanamaker and deputy chief Candy.
“It was their recommendation when they were giving their resignations because it is a lot to ask people to be in the responsible position to co-ordinate fire response 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said. “Now the responsibilities can be divided amongst the three, not just two, which takes quite a load off of the chief and deputy chief.”
|November 24, 2013||Scott-Wallace/KCR|
Hammond-Jeffries fire Chief John Gray, left, says he got a bargain with the purchase of Sussex’s retired pumper truck for $1. Here he exchanges keys with Sussex fire Chief Harold Lowe while Sussex Mayor Marc Thorne looks on.
SUSSEX — The town of Sussex’s 1986 pumper truck may have doused its last flames in town, but for the nearby Hammondvale area, it will be an asset in helping the volunteer firefighters there do their job.
On Saturday, the keys were exchanged from new Sussex fire chief Harold Lowe’s hands to those of John Gray, Hammond-Jeffries’ fire chief.
“We really want to thank the town of Sussex for this,” Gray said, offering the necessary loonie to seal the deal. “This will be more volume than we’ve ever had before, and in a rural community that’s not a small thing.
“The more water we can carry, the better in a rural area where you’re not close to hydrants.”
The 27-year-old GMC pumper will make its new home under the roof of Gray’s station 16 kilometres south of Sussex. It is a gift from Sussex that allows the Hammond-Jeffries department to retire one of its old trucks.
“I’m just glad it’s going someplace where it’s going to be used,” said Sussex’s chief.
Sussex Mayor Marc Thorne said while the Sussex pumper was due for replacement last year as part of the town’s 25-year cycle for big ticket equipment, it still has many good years ahead of it for a smaller area. The town bought the pumper new, it was well maintained and is in excellent condition, he said.
“For a rural fire department it will have a very long service life ahead,” Thorne said. “It has far greater value within the region than any money we’d ever receive for it on a trade or sale.”
He said while the pumper has an approximate value of $10,000, it would cost about $300,000 to buy new.
“Anytime we have surplus equipment that is of use to the greater community we will certainly be making those offers in the years to come,” Thorne said.
The Sussex department gifted its used Argo to the Norton Fire Department last year, for example, and the town’s old ice resurfacer went to the village of Sussex Corner, which was then re-gifted last year to Waterford for its outdoor rink.
This summer the Sussex department took ownership of its new quintuple combination pumper – a $870,000, custom-built firefighting machine.
The quint has the pumping ability of a typical pumper truck, but also carries an expendable ladder that allows fires to be extinguished that are harder to reach. Schools, homes and businesses throughout the region were identified in a fire marshal’s report in recent years as needing the services of the new apparatus, and as such the province, in acting on behalf of local service districts on the outskirts, agreed to pitch in on the costs.
The town of Sussex, over 15 years, is paying about 64 per cent of the total $870,000 cost with annual payments in the area of $53,000. The village of Sussex Corner is funding about 15 per cent of the quint by paying just over $12,500 each of the same years. The remainder is being paid for by the local service districts, who receive fire service by the Town of Sussex department at about 20 per cent of the cost, or just over $17,000 yearly, for the 15-year-term.
|October 22, 2013||Scott-Wallace/KCR|
PENOBSQUIS – No one was injured when a small fire broke out in a section of the Timberland Motel & Restaurant near Sussex on Tuesday morning.
Two area fire departments responded to the call of smoke coming from a standalone section of the motel.
Harold Lowe, the Sussex Fire Department chief said the cause was unclear, but the fire marshal was called in to investigate.
“It’s not suspicious but we’re still having the fire marshal come in and investigate it,” he said in the afternoon after leaving the scene.
One of the units on main floor was occupied but the person and their belongings were removed Lowe said. RCMP and an ambulance also were called to the scene.
Firefighters from Sussex and Penobsquis arrived at the scene shortly after 10 a.m.
“There was heavy smoke coming out of the basement and when they opened the basement there were flames across the floor joists. It seems to be contained at the far end of the building,” Lowe said from the scene as firefighter continued working in the basement.
The basement was unfinished, essentially a crawl space he said.
“We got in there and knocked it (the fire) down. We were worried about it extending up into the attic because of the extension here in the back.”
Firefighters reentered the structure around 11 a.m. to check if temperatures in the basement were OK. They left the scene after noon.
Lowe said the damage to the structure was mostly charing to the floor joists and smoke damage to the rental rooms.
|October 9, 2013||McGee/KCR|
SUSSEX - For more than a century, the volunteer fire service in Sussex has been led by a volunteer.
Growing demands on a busy force, however, has meant a new direction for the department.
Harold Lowe, a training officer with the Moncton Fire Department, will take on the job of Sussex's first full-time fire chief on Oct 7, 2013
"The hiring of Harold marks a definite change in how our fire service operates," said Sussex Majoy Marc Thorne. "Our fire department is more than 100 years, and we've come to a point where we are hiting out first full-time fire chief.
"It's reflective of the demands, the growth of our community," he added. "We've reached a point where the administration o the fire service is highly demanding and it's become clear over the last few years that we needed the services of a full-time chief."
"Lowe will replace Bill Wanamaker, who has served on the force for over 35 years. Wanamaker will step down as fire chief but continue to be a colunteer member of the department to enjoy a slower pace.
Wanamaker was part of the interview process, along with town staff and council members.
"I'm very happy. I think Harold will be a good fit for the department," Wanamaker said of the choice. "I will do everything I can to make sure the transition is smooth."
Thorne expects with Lowe's experience on volunteer departments in the past, he will understand the culture at the 40-member department and be a positive influence.
"Volunteer firefighters are near and dear to me," said Lowe, a member of the Petitcodiac Volunteer fire department as a firefighter and training officer. "I've been a volunteer firefighter."
Lowe attended an open house reception Friday night hosted by the town to thank Wanamaker and longtime Deputy Chief Bob Candy for their years of service. Both joined around the same time, are stepping down together from the department's leadership this fall.
"I look forward to meeting and getting to know everyone," Lowe said. "I want to thank Bill and Bob for the time they've put in with the department, and I'm really glad your going to be with the department and I'll be putting your numbers on speed-dial. I'm going to be picking your brains a lot."
Lowe has been in the firefighting business for 25 years. He has been a structural firefighter in both a volunteer department, as well as a career department, and also in the oil and gas field. Lowe's service includes service with the Fort McMurray Fire Department, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, the City of Moncton and the Village of Petitcodiac over the last six years.
Most recently as training officer in Moncton, Lowe has been responsibile for training both the career and volunteer firefighters in fire, hazardous material, medical and speciality rescue courses; orientation of new recruits; researching and purchasing equipment, vehicles and supplies; liaison person with the city's mechanical division; and maintaining the records for the training division.
The father of two has maintained his certification as a primary care paramedic and is a serving officer in the Order of St.John.
|September 10, 2013||Scott-Wallace/KCR|
The Sussex volunteer fire department welcomed its long-awaited quint to its new home on Tuesday.
SUSSEX - With all its bells and whistles, a giant flash of red roared into Sussex on Tuesday afternoon as if it were coming to save the day.
And in some ways, it was. The region now has better fire protection tha it has ever had.
It was a year in the making, culminating with the long-awaited delivery by Ohio manufacturer Sutphen, which put together the pieces of the Sussex volunteer fire department's shiny new quintuple combination pumper. The $870,000 machine intended for more extreme firefighting demands has landed home.
"She was built right from the ground up, exactly as we wanted it," said Fire Chief Bill Wanamaker.
Wanamaker and two other firefighters visited the Ohio plant at the beginning of the build in January, and for final inspection in May.
"The whole area will benefit from this, not just the Sussex Fire Department," said Wanamaker, who admired the massive rig as if it was a new toy.
It has the pumping ability of a typical pumper truck, but also carries an extendable ladder that allows fires to be extinguised that are harder to reach.
Wanamaker said before now, simply reaching a chimney fire has meant firefigters had to climb oftern unstable ladders to reach the roof.
It's going to be easier to rescue people on that second or third floor," he said. "There have been times over the years wher I have kept my fingers crossed until everyone is on the ground."
With growth in the region and industries expanding, Sussex Mayor Marc Thorne said demands on the fire service are greater. He said all around Sussex larger buildings are popping up that would require bth the horizontal and vertical ladder capabilities of new truck to conquer fire.
Schools, homes and businesses throughout the region were identifed in a fire marshall's report in recent years as needing the services of the new apparatus, and as such the province in acting on behalf of local service districts on the outskirts agred to pitch in on the costs.
The town of Sussex, over 15 years, is paying about 64 per cent of the total $870,000 cost with annual payments in the area of $53,000. The village of Sussex Corner is funding about 15 per cent of the quint by paying just over $12,500 each of the same years. The remainder is being paid for by the local service districts who receive fire service by the Tow of Sussex department at about 20 per cent of the cost, or just over $17,000 yearly, for the 15-year-term.
"This is certainly an exciting day for the fire deparment and a great thing for the region," Thorne said, just moments after the truck arrived in Sussex carrying the fire chief.
"We talked about it a long time, we planned for it a long time and now it's here. Any municipality regardless of its size would love to have a truck like this."
The truck was delivered to the province by Sutphen in time for Sussex's Canada Day parade, and then taken by Wanamaker and Sutphen representatives to Prince Edward Island to be shown off at the Maritime Fire Chief's Convention until Tuesday.
Until firefighters are trained to operate the new equipment over the next month, it will not be put out on fire calls.
This fire truck has been a very long time in the making, and we truly believe in the years to come it is going to have a tremendous impact by way of protecting peoples' lives and their property," Thorne said. "This is most definitely the most sustantial peice of equipement we have ever gotten. It is exactly doubt the cost of the last pumper we got in 2003.
By comparison, in 2003 the department's pumper truck cost $435,000, and prior to that a similar piece of equipment rung in at $385,000.
Thorne said the department's 1986 pumper was scheduled for replacement last year. A quint was first loked at by the town, he said, about a half dozen years ago after the department suggested the region would benefit from a ladder truck because of the growth. The led to the fire marshall studying the region to measure the need based on structures in outlying areas. The province agreed to provide funding based on the percentage of need in the local service districts as a result of the fire marshall's findings.
"This is really a piece of equipment we have been needing for a very long time. It is something we should have had a long, long time ago," he said.
Thorne added last fall when two historic buildings in the town's core were destroyed by fire, a quint would have made a big difference.
If we would have had a ladder truck for the Broad Street fire, it is very likely we would have ony lost one building instead of two." the mayor said.
He said populations are growing in the busy Sussex region, and with that comes more industrial development with sizable structures.
"With people comes more buildings," Thorne said. "When you consider the growth, driven largely by the potash mine developement in nearby Penobquis, this truck is even more relevant to our fire service needs. It's not just for our fire service area, but it's just as important for those areas we have mutual aid agreements with."
For example, Thorne said, the sprawling PotashCorp mine is served by Penobsquis Fire Deparment, yet if an emergency occurs, through the mutual aid agreement between communities, Sussex would respond with its equipment if needed.
Sussex's volunteer fire department consists of 40 volunteers.
|July 10, 2013||Scott-Wallace/Telegraph-Journal|
Brothers-in-law Bill Wanamaker, left, and Bob Candy, have been leading the Sussex fire department that past five years. They will step down from those roles in the fall. The town of Sussex will replace the chief's job with the town's first full-time chief.
SUSSEX - For Bill Wanamaker and Bob Candy, their time together on the Sussex volunteer fire department has been a brotherhood in every sense of the word.
Having married sisters, they are family, and since they joined the department as soon as they reached the required age of 18, they have climbed the ranks to lead the 40-member squad.
This fall, after more than 36 years each on the department, Wanamaker will step down as chief and Candy as his deputy chief.
The decision is not one the men made overnight.
It was five years ago when Wanamaker, who was semi-retired from the meat shop business, accepted the job firefighters at the department chose him to do. He was deputy chief at the time and moved up to replace the late Norman Welsh after he retired.
Candy, who was a captain, took the job as Wanamaker's second-in-command.
The men decided at the time they would pour themselves in the busy volunteer roles short term.
"We've always had each other's backs," Wanamaker said, "We joined around the same time, we trained together, we put out fires together and worked alongside each other. That's the way it's always been,"
The men estimate that in their years with the department, they have responeded to a minimum of 4,000 fire calls together.
Amoung them were some of the biggest emergencies to hit Sussex, and of them, many happened with Wanamaker and Candy at the helm.
"In our time in these positions there were so many firsts to happen," the chief said.
A house explosion on Post Road in Sussex Corner, the death of four people in a house fire on Knightville Road two months after the men took on the top jobs in late 2007, and the Sussex legion burning two months after that were tragic.
As well, the Broad Street fire in September last year that destroyed historic buildings in the town's core will go down in their memories as a moment they will never forget.
While they have cherished their experiences to serve the public, they want a slower pace.
"I told the guys when I took the job I would give it five years and then re-evaluate," the chief said.
Candy still works at PotashCorp's Penobsquis mine but he gave until the age of 55. He turns that age this year.
Everything has just coincided,"Wanamaker said. "We will go out at the same time. I think it's neat. We've done our thing and it's good for our fire department to have new breath, someone to take the department to another level."
Wanamaker's step down opens the door to a new opportunity for the town's fire service. As last month's regular meeting, council announced the town is starting the process to hire its first full-time fire chief to replace Wanamaker come fall.
It's a huge, huge step for this town," Wanamaker said.
The demand administratively is higher than it's ever been, he said, and the training requirments are intense. These just touch on a the responsibilities of a job that needs someone in place full-time, he said.
"When I joined, I was sworn in, passed a pair of boots and told to do my best," Wanamaker shared. "The training was minimal. It's nothing like that today. Even though this is a volunteer fire department, the general public expects a professional job.
Goals drafted by Wanamaker and Candy when they took the top jobs have been attained, so they will leave their jobs feeling they made a difference.
Council approved the first paid help at the department with a full-time officer and part-time chief in Wanamaker's time, the department has added new equipment, with improvements to water rescue, a half-ton truck and an Argo all-terrain vehicle. And next month, the department's long-awaited quint fire truck will arrive.
And thanks to a significant contribution from PotashCorp and other local businesses, a training facility will be constructed off Leonard Drive in Sussex for use by fire departments throughout the area. Construction will begin soon and unfold over the next few months, the men confirmed.
As teens, Wanamaker and Candy started dating sisters and have been close ever since. They have gone through many milestones together since then, including their marriages and the births of their children.
They even live a stone's through from each other.
We're both pretty easygoing," Wanamaker said, the two men ribbing each other throughout a recent interview.
As young boys they were drawn to the fire department to follow in their fathers footsteps.
We both joined right out of high school," said Wanamaker, who is a year older than Candy. "Our fathers were on this department and we just couldn't wait for the day we could join. It's in the blood."
Wanamaker's grown son Joel is also on the department.
Now the men are grandfathers, and they want to step back to a role where their responsibility is less and their freedom so much more to enjoy with their families.
They no longer want the fire station to be their second home, but they will continue as volunteer firefighters in whatever rank the members determine.
"After you've done it so many years you can't just walk away completely - it's an addiction," Wanamaker said. He said the camaraderie amoung the tight-knit volunteers and the adrenalin rush that comes from responding to disasters are two draws to being a firefighter. Helping to protect a community that means so much is the driving force.
"Every call you go to you get that feeling that you are rushing out to help someone who needs you," he said.
The Sussex department provides fire service in and outside of Sussex to about 12,000 to 15,000 people.
"The fire service is different than any other volunteer organizations you could belong to," Wanamaker said. "You don't know what you could be doing in an hour from now.
It's a family commitment because you're on call 24/7. Our wives have put up with a lot."
When the men reflect on it, they picture the times they left their wives stranded without a car at a restaurant, holding the bill after their pagers called them to a fire. There were holiday dinners and other family gatherings they had to skip.
There also have been missed vacations and family outings, but Wanamaker said he can't imagine a more fulfilling way to give back to his community.
A Final date the men will step down hasn't been set, but they expect it will be early fall.
Wanamaker, after all wants to go to his camp for a couple weeks for a long-awaited deer hunt "without a gun in one hand and a portable in another."
"We want our life back," he said. "It's that time in our life when we have other things we also want to do. It's time."
Wanamaker said he will go back to butchering three days a week instead of one.
|May 7, 2013||Scott-Wallace/KCR|
SUSSEX-The Sussex flag at the 8th Hussars Sports Centre and town hall was raised to half-mast Saturday as the community woke up to learn a popular town worker had died unexpectedly.
Christopher Ross Austin Carr, 44, who was well-admired among the children at the rink as one of the men who entertained on the ice resurfacer, was paid tribute to throughout the weeekend during many moents of silence following the youthful hockey games.
Jason Thorne, director of the Community Services Department and Carr's boss, said the ice users took it upon themselves to remember Carr with the special silent gesture.
"When you look at the staff at the rink there's just five of us, so not only do we work as a family, but the community becomes a part of that family as they come and go," he said. "To lose someone like this is deeply felt by so many people."
Carr, son of Nancy and Deputy Mayor Ralph Carr, was also a volunteer firefighter in the town for 20 years, a second-degree black belt in taekwondo, and had worked for the town since 1990.
"Chris was a very popular and dedicated employee of the town. He had been with us for along time and was well liked by the public and his co-workers, and certainly well respected by us on council," said Mayor Marc Thorne, who sat as deputy mayor for a dozen years in a role reversal with Ralph Carr as mayor.
"He's going to be deeply missed by everyone. All of us are still dealing with the suddennes of it. It's still a shock and right now we are thinking of him and his young family, and Ralph and Nancy."
Carr married his wife Becky Kunze Carr in July of 2011, and in that marriage became a dad to her son Jack.
"He was a wonderful husband and dad and enjoyed every day to the fullest. He lived his life with no regrets and believed we should all make the most of every day," his obituary reads.
"Chris was known for his great smile and his loving heart. He was a wonderful son, husband, father, brother, uncle and friend who will be dearly missed."
Carr was also a member of the Knights of Columbus, Cursillo, the Parish Council, a eucharistic minister and was a member of St. Francis Zavier Roman Catholic Church.
He enjoyed biking, golfing, curling, and recently started playing hockey.
Fire Chief Bill Wanamaker, who watched the fun-loving firefighter grow up in the department, said the death is a serious blow to him and the men who served the community on the department with Carr.
"Your're a pretty close-knit bunch," Wanamaker said, his voice breaking. "We were at the fire hall on Saturday morning and guys were just dropping in to talk. It's sheer disbelief, you just don't expect it - he was too young, too fit.....you try to make sense of it but you can't."
Wanamaker said Carr was helping lead the initiative to set up a gym at the fire department, and was always willing to serve his community, often with a joke on the side.
"Chris was always there to do whatever you needed, and whatever the community needed. He was big on the fire prevention side of things, and that meant him going to the school programs and daycare programs," the chief said.
An no matter what he was doing, he would always give you a laugh too. That was just Chris's personality. We're going to miss him around here for sure.
Carr died unexpectedly at home. The cause is still unknown.
Visitation will take place at Wallace Funeral Home in Sussex on Tuesday from 1 to 3pm. and 6 to 8pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Francis Zavier Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday at 11am.
|February 26, 2013||Scott-Wallace/KCR|
SUSSEX-When fire ravaged businesses and apartments on Broad Street in September, members of one Sussex church held their breath.
Abundant Life United Penecostal Church is located just behind where the inferno took out popular businesses including the Broadway Cafe and Outdoor Elements. Today the scene outside the church includes a gaping hole where those businesses once stood, serving as a constant reminder of the church's good fortune.
On Sunday, the church congregation paid tribute to members of Sussex and Penobsquis fire departments who fought the blaze the night of Sept. 4 and helped keep the downtown church safe. Firefighters were each presented a Good Smaritan award, featuring a miniature golden firefighter, as well as prayer standing ovations by the church family.
"Without question, I believe our church facility would have been lost," said Pastor Richard Vincent.
As firefighters beat down the flames of Broad Street, Vincent pointed out, they also diligently sprayed the rooftop of the church to keep the heat down. Meanwhile, with so much uncertainty, a staff member of the church removed hard drives from the building to protect records and documents.
"It takes heroism to be able to bolt into something as erratic and treacherous as a fire." Vincent told the congregation and guest firefighters. "This town needed you and you came."Our chief did an outstanding job leading the men he is charged with overseeing. We salute your men," he said, turning to Sussex Fire Chief Bill Wanamaker. "Thank you for the decisions you made."
Wanamaker said his firefighters were humbled by the recognition, and thanked the congregation for the honour. The firefighters and their families were treated to lunch following the service.
Mayor Marc Thorne said the volunteer firefighters spend hundreds of hours in training, and thousands of hours in practice, and show dedication and drive in protecting the region. Specifically, Thorne said, he too believes the actions of the fire department "allowed them to save this very building you're in today."
Also at the service, business owners Sherri Parlee and Starla Logan of Golden Town Buffett, which was destroyed in the fire, appluaded the firefighters.
"For us, we think you're amazing," Logan said from the podium. "Not only were we struck by your determination the night of the fire but by your heart."
She said several times firefighters made their way around the stunned crowd spotting business owners and asking if they were OK. "It was devastating for our family," Logan said. Like other business people and those left homeless, she said the community support has been overwhelming as her family puts the pieces back together.
|October 23, 2012||Scott-Wallace/KCR|
Sussex Fire Department Chief Bill Wanamaker and member of the fire department are presented with a photo of Broad Street taken before last month's fire by shop owners, including John McNair, on Saturday morning during the fire department's open house. The photo was taken by Jaime Roach. Andrew Griffin, who had artwork in one of the destroyed buildings, printed the photo on canvas. From left to right are Sparky, Joel Wanamaker, Robert Adair, Scott MacAleese standing on the truck, Hannah McNair being held by her father John McNair, Tom Murray, Mary McNair holding William McNair, Jeremy McFarlane behind Mary, Chris Doherty, Bob Candy, Bill Wanamaker, Doug Brown, Chris Carr, Scott Hoyt, Jamie Roach and Andrew Griffin.
|October 16, 2012||Magee/KCR|
SUSSEX - Residents of Sussex woke up to a rainy back-to-school morning expecting the most serious change to be to their routines.
Instead, they were met with mountains of rubble as they made their way through the heart of downtown.
Some of the most significant historic buildings, which housed unique businessess and family residents, had gone up in flames along Broad Street Tuesday night.
In one fell swoop the Tuesday night fire ravished the Broadway Cafe, Outdoor Elements ski and cycle shop, Soap Works and Namaste books and gifts. The next door building where Golden Town Buffet opened less than a year ago also has to come down because of the extreme damage and risk of collapse.
Homeless are tenants of at least three upper-storey apartments who lived in the two century-old buildings.
Fire chief Bill Wanamaker confirmed the provincial fire marshall was on the scene Wednesdy to investigate the cause of the blaze and will be back on site Thursday. It appears, Wanamaker said, the fire started at the rear of one of the buildings. There was no significan explosion, he explained, but added the cycle shop had camping fuel out back that caused some minor pipping people may have heard.
The fire began around 10 p.m. and needed 28 firfighters from Sussex and about 10 from Penobsquis to put it out.
Mayor Marc Thorne was called to the fiery scene and said the inferno, watched by about 100 residents well into the wee hours of the morning, has created a shock wave through his town. All day Wednesday, the loss was the main topic of conversation at coffee shops, he added and the traffic slowed to a snail's pace on the one-way boulevard.
As he stood watching tenants and small business people with so much lost, he said, "It just ripped the heart out of you."One of the greatest fears felt by everyone is that the fire couldn't be contained and would take out the whole block," the mayor said.
It was surreal, he added when he was asked for the final word by the fire chief to support his recommendation to call in an excavator.
"I never imagined the day when I would be asked for authority to put an excavator through the Broadway Cafe in order to save the rest of the blok," described Thorne, who was just elected mayor in May."We had to destroy that building to save the others, and just like that, it looked like it went through a blender."
Wanamaker said while he has the authority to make such calls alone, the enormity of the decision had him seeking the mayor's advise.
That's quite a step to do that," Wanamaker said. These are four or five businesses who have employees rely on them, and we're talking peoples' homes. It was easier to have the mayor's blessing on such a big decision from the get-go."
Thorne said the devastation is real, and the community will take some time to recover. Since the railway was constructed to run through the town and the train station was built along it on Broad Street across from the fire site, the block has been a key component of the town.
"From an historical point of view, they're some of the most important buildings in our community," he said. "That portion of the street has been such an important part of the fabric of our cummunity. They were such well-known shops, such as well-known buildings, that for them to be gone in a matter of minutes is such a shock.
"We've lost a piece of history - we can't recapture that. It's gone."
He applauded the work of the prefessionals and volunteers who were out in full force helping, specifically the town's volunteer firefighters, for their swift action.
The loss to the retail sector is also significant with the lost businesses offering to a niche market, luring shoppers to the area.
Business owners are attempting to come to grips with the loss to their livelihoods. There are decions to be made on the future of their offerings; however, they agree that while the fallen bricks and mortar of their business is difficult to accept, at least no one was hurt.
Namast owner Karen kirk said there is uncertainity, but the small-town community network is strong. "I'm just very thankful no one got hurt. A lot of us lost our livelihood, but to think of the human lives spared, you have to be grateful," she said.
Father of a young family and Outdoor Elements owner John McNair said the support from his community has been the silver lining.
"People's generosity is a great reminder of why we love living in this great community."
A Canadian Red Cross team was on the scene and arranged emergency motel lodging for a family of four. Tenants of other affected apartments made arrangements to stay for now with family or friends in the cummunity.
Wanamaker said while there were no injuries, one firefighter went to the hospital to be checked out and then returned to the fire scene after over-extending himself as he battled the blaze.
He said there are bright sides to the traumatic events, like the two Hoyt firefighters who were driving by town on their way home from a training course and saw the smoke. They had their gear with them, and they suted up to help.
|Thursday, September 6, 2012||Scott-Wallace/Telegraph-Journal|
Sussex firefighters were in high demand as they took turns battling the inferno that spread through heaps of scrap metal at J.R. Salvage & Son in the early afternoon Wednesday. No one was injured in the blaze.
SUSSEX - The blue skies of Sussex were replaced by the black hue of a burning inferno within a scrap yard at the industrial park Wednesday afternoon.
As the rear heaps of vehicles and other metals blazed with flames, volunteer firefighters relayed, relieving each other from the intense heat, dumping foam and water onto the mountain of fire. An excavator worked within the impressive blaze, lifting large burning pieces for firefighters to soak, relieving the intensity of the mound.
Firefighters were called to J.R. Salvage & Son in Sussex's Industrial Park around 1:30 Wednesday afternoon. As the fire was beaten down over an exhausting two-hour period, said Fire Chief Bill Wanamaker, police evacuated next-door business Progressive Diamond Drilling of its employees.
Meanwhile, Wanamaker said, firefighters continued to soak that business to ward off the flames nipping close to the salvage yard.
There were no injuries and the fire is not considered suspicious, Wanamaker said.
The scene was dramatic, contends employee Joel Trites.
He was working outside on the sunny afternoon as employees attempted to remove a gas tank from a Toyota 4Runner.
"Just like that, it ignited," he said."Then it spread to everything - there's vehicles, washers and driers, all kinds of scrap metals in there."
Jenny Aubin was working in the back of the business's shop when her day changed drastically.
"It just sounded like someone ran into our wall. There was a massive boom," she said."Then I looked out and all I saw was black smoke."
The oil and other accelerants on the items within the large waste pile created quite an inferno.
"It's going to take a pile of water and a pile of foam," he said, watching his 20-some volunteers take turns jotting in and out of the firey heap to do their part in short stints of time.
"The fire is hot and the guys's protective gear holds in so much body heat - the body can only perspire so much before you need to step away and take a break from the heat. We just keep running in and out.
"There's one pile of scrap in there,"the chief added."we'll be here for a while."
Within about two hours, the fire was beaten down even though firefighters were expected to spend several more hours wetting down hotspots to ensure flames didn't take off again.
Sgt. Andy O'Connell of the Sussex RCMP said police will not be investigating since crimingal activity is not being considered.
|Thursday, July 12, 2012||Scott-Wallace/Telegraph-Journal|
PotashCorp has purchased $35,000 worth of air compressor equipment to be housed at the Sussex Fire Department that will benefit the Sussex department, mine, and the Penobsquis fire department. From left are Sussex Deputy Fire Chief Bob Candy, Sussex Fire Chief Bill Wanamaker, PotashCorp's general manager for New Brunswick Stewart Brown, Penobsquis Fire Chief Milburn Rossiter and Penobsquis Deputy Fire Chief Jamie Daley.
New Equipment will extend air supply for firefighters.
SUSSEX - Firefighters in the Sussex area won't be left breathless when time is of the essence.
A $35,000 gift from PotashCorp in nearby Penobsquis will give firefighters twice as much time to enter a building to extinguish and rescue.
The donation allows the Sussex volunteer fire department to purchase an updated air compressor and four canisters. The replaced equipment means in the even of an emergency, firefighters will carry on their backs a pack
holding 6,000 pounds per square inch of air, instead of the current 4,500 psi containers.
Sussex Fire Chief Bill Wanamaker said the upgrade will provide firefighters with an hour's worth of air, instead of the half-hour bottles they currently carry.
"If you're going into Superstore or Walmart or one of the tall buildings at the mine, you just get in there and start to look around and you have to head for the door again," Wanamaker explained. "This will give us twice as long" inside a smoke-filled environment.
Jamie Daley, deputy fire chief in Penobsquis, said the new equipment will not only keep firefighters safe, but will give them the time they need inside during the most critical scenarios.
"This just gives us that much more time, which means a lot in some situations. Before we would be in there 10 minutes and have to turn around again," he said. He added this purchase could save lives.
Usually, the firefigters explained, volunteers would take turns entering a building and relieving fellow members when their air ran out.
The self-contained breathing apparatuses, which include the vibrant yellow tank of air for the back and face mask,
are sported by each firefighter when they enter a burning building.
PotashCorp's general manager for New Brunswick, Stewart Brown, said the contribution will impact the region, including his mine, when emergencies happen. He said the mine has about 20 trained emergency response members who will keep their packs replenished using the Sussex-based equipment his company purchased, as well Penobsquis firefighters situated close to the sprawling mine will have full access.
If a fire broke out on the surface of the mine, local firefighters would respond. Mine structures, Brown pointed out, like the eight-floor compaction plant, require equipment different than a residential home, for example.
Brown said the mine opted write the cheque to buy the equipment to benefit their business, but situate it at Sussex's busy department where it would get the most use by the region.
There was a need locally," Brown said. "This is a value to our ERT guys too for filling up bottles, but it wouldn't be a good investment for us to just have for ourselves. It's a benefit to everyone, and this way we all share it."
This will be a big year for the Sussex fire department and other departments that rely on an agreement with the department for mutual aid when diasters strike.
|Tuesday, May 1, 2012||Scott-Wallace/KCR|
Police are investigatin a two-car collision at the intersection of St. George and Essex streets in Sussex just before noon on Wednesday. The drivers of the vehicles were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
After impact, one vehicle - driven by an elderly Sussex-area woman - broke through the fence of a house that's for sale on the corner and was able to remove herself from the passenger's door. The air bag of the second vehicle deployed. According to Const. Robert Driscoll of the Sussex RCMP, there was only one occupant in each of the vehicles.
|February 24, 2012||Scott-Wallace/KCR|
A three-vehicle collision occurred at the intersection of Route 121 and Lower Cover Road near the entrance to Sussex on Friday afternoon just before 1 p.m. Police say two people received non-life-threatening injuries in the accident,
including a 19-year-old female from Skanklin, NB, and an 18-year-old Belleisle Creek male.The male, seen here being taken away on a stretcher by paramedics, was trapped in the vehicle and had to be removed by Sussex firefighters using the Jaws of Law. The accident is still under investigation.
|February 21, 2012||Scott-Wallace/KCR|
A man and woman were taken to hospital by ambulance Thursday afternoon following a two-vehicle collision on the corner of Picadilly Road and Post Road in Picadilly. The crash took place just before 4 p.m. between a white Chevy Silverado and a blue older model Corolla.
Both injured individuals had to be removed from the car by the Sussex Fire Department using the jaws of life. Though Sussex RCMP could not immediately speak to the injuries of either individuals bother were alert during their removal from the vehicle. The RCMP said the road conditions were clear and alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the collision.
|January 24, 2012||Laura MacInnis/KCR|
Three temporary holding tanks are used in the water relay process to ensure a steady source of water for the main pump truck. Ten trucks from more than half a dozen fire departments were part of the initial relay practice outside Sussex recently.
SUSSEX - New certification for more than half a dozen fire departments in Kings COunty could mean insurance savings for hundreds of area residents.
But before that can happen, Sussex Fire Chief Bill Wanamaker is in need of a few more fire engines to join the departments water shuttle.
"In order to get the certification we're going after, we're probably going to need four more trucks," he said.
Superior Water Shuttle Accreditation is what the various departments are trying to acieve. It's a process that involves establishing a system in rural areas that would allow a fire truck to have a continuous source of water in order to extinguish a large fire or handle another kind of disaster.
The Sussex department's pumper has the largest pump capacity, so it plays an anchoring role at a scene. Other trucks from various departments then relay water non-stop to three large holding tanks that resemble large kiddie pools to ensure a stable source for the Sussex truck that continuously directs water onto a blaze.
The insurance underwriter Wanamaker and company deal with said if the Sussex Fire Department, and by association the other departments, receive the accreditation, those homeowners who live within an eight-kilometre radius of any of the participating departments should be eligible to get an insurance rebate of about $100 a year.
"I didn't have to sell it to them," Wanamaker said of geting the volunteer departments on board.
Those living within an area served by a hydrant system, such as Sussex or Sussex Corner, would not be eligible for the rebate. To hit the target, Wanamaker will branch out and talk with other departments in the area and ask if they want to join in.
Departments from Belleisle, Norton, Millstream, Penobsquis, Petitcodiac, Elgin and Sussex got together recently to practice for the first tie and sustained 600 gallons per minute for two hours. To receive the top certification they need to hit 900 gallons.
"I was happy with the way it went," said Wanamaker.
Another practice likely won't happen until spring, and by that time Wanamaker hopes to have all the pieces in place to reach the magic number. Having been part of the same certification achieved by the Rothesay Fire Department, Wanamaker said it was helpful to have knowledge of a working system already.
While ultimately it's the kind of training the department hopes it doesn't have to use, Wanamaker said it would be needed for large-scale emergencies.
"It would have to be a big structure (fire)...or it could be something with the rail system," he said.
Penobsquis Deputy Fire Chief Jamie Daley knows that residents not covered by hydrants in the coverage area will value the monetary savigs, by the process is also an excellent way for volunteer firefighters to train.
Water has to be trucked into Penobsquis when they have fires to put out and should there be - fore example - a barn fire in the area, it could require more that 100,000 gallons to put it out.
We learned a lot pumping that water," Daley said of the recent practice run. "This helps us fine tune the process."
|Friday, October 21, 2011||David Kelly/CanadaEast News Service|
A single vehicle crash late Saturday morning sent a man to hospital with undisclosed injuries when his SUV left Route 114 outside Sussex and crashed head-on through this large highway sign. The vehicle rolled over several times before ending up in some bushes. Police believe speed was a factor.
|Tuesday, October 11, 2011||Kelly/KCR|
Emergency response personnel were dispatced shortly after 1 p.m. to 141 Leonard Dr. in Sussex after a bus fell and pinned a man who had been working underneath of it. Incident Police hand over investigation to WorkSafeNB
SUSSEX - A mechanic was rushed to hospital after a bus fell on top of him while he was working underneath it Friday afternoon.
The 50-year-old man is an employee of Optimum Ride, a bus rental and charter company. The incident took
place inside the company's garage on Leonard Drive shortly after 1p.m.
Cpl. Graham Milner of the RCMP in Sussex said the victim was pinned at the hips when police, paramedics and members of the Sussex Fire Department arrived.
"He did remain conscious the entire time. We're not sure at the moment whether he'll stay at the Sussex Health Centre or be taken to Moncton," Milner said at the scene.
The man was taken to hospital with indisclosed injuries.
He said a mechanic from McGibbon Diesel attened to help emergency crews better understand what was pinning him and what to expect when the bus was lifted. "He was around the motor, in that area," Milner said.
Fire Chief Bill Wanamaker said the members of the fire department used pumped-up air bags under the vehicle to lift it and get the victim free.
"We had to stack two or three to get it high enough and you put wooden blocks in as you go to crib it up just in case they break," Wanamaker said.
A truck from Conway Towing was on hand just in case back-up was needed.
"That's what's nice about a small town, other businesses are quick to help you out and they can get here quickly. You don't necessarily see that in a big city," Wanamaker said.
Milner said the RCMP considers the incident an industrial accident.
"We don't know what caused the bus to fall," he said. "WorkSafeNB will be called to investigate now."
|Saturday, October 8, 2011||Laura MacInnis/CanadaEast News Service|
A family is homeless after a fire completely destroyed this home on Route 890 in Smiths Creek near Sussex on Easter Sunday.
SMITHS CREEK - Three people are homeless after a fire gutted their Smiths Creek home just as most families were preparing to sit down for their Easter dinners.
According to Sussex Fire Chief Bill Wanamaker, firefighters were called to an older-model mobile home on Route 890 just outside Sussex around 3:20 p.m. on Sunday to find flames shooting from the structure.
A young man who lived there was nearby walking the family's dog as the fire raged. Two older residents, believed to be his parents, were not home at the time.
Wanamaker said the fire started in the bedroom area of the home as a result of an electrical malfunction.
He said there was insurance on the home, however, Red Cross spokesman Dan Bedell said Red Cross workers were at the fire scene to help the family make arrangements for shelter, food, personal care kits and clothing and to refer the family to appropriate agencies for aid.
Because of the age of the trailer, which had been modified with a newer peaked roof, the fire was a challenge to extinguish by the Sussex firefighters and those from Millstream who lent a hand.
"It was a stubborn fire," the fire chief said. He explained fire settled between the original roof and the newer peaked one and was difficult for firefighters to battle.
"The fire was hard to get at," Wanamaker said, calling the home a complete loss. Two cats in the home at the time of the fire managed to get out, Wanamaker added.
While most families were busy preparing Easter dinner, Wanamaker said the volunteer firefighters were quick to ditch their loved ones to respond to a family in need.
"These people just lost everything, the men on the scene (battling the fire) were not worried about the supper they are missing out on," he said. "It's just part of the routine in emergency services, even though the guys are volunteers.
"After 35 years my wife is pretty used to it, and it's the same for the other firefighters' families. When there's a need, that's where we want to be," he added, saying that while a fire that destroys everything people have is difficult any time of year, it is particularly tough when others are tucked in their homes enjoying a holiday.
"It's just hard to imagine what it's like to lose everything," Wanamaker said.
|Wednesday, April 27th, 2011||Tammy Scott-Wallace Telegraph-Journal|
Freezing rain and ice pellets were largely to blame for a multi-vehicle collision on Route 1 February 18, just four kilometres from Sussex. Sgt. Bruce Reid with Dist. 3 RCMP said the first vehicle swerved off the road and flipped into the median, rolling onto its roof and trapping the passengers inside. Another driver stopped to help but their
car was hit by another vehicle, and then another vehicle. Reid said several people were taken to hospital but no one was seriously injured and all were quickly released. Due to the crash the eastbound lane was completely blocked for about an hour. During that tie authorities asked people to stay off the roads due to the slippery conditions.
|Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011||Laura MacInnis/KCR|
Emergency crews, including paramedics and the fire department, were dispatched after this bus left the Post Road in Sussex Corner and ended up in a snow bank Feb. 17. None of the students on board the bus were hurt.
SUSSEX CORNER - Thirty-five students are safe and sound following a bus crash on Post Road in Sussex Corner Feb. 17.
Bus 813 was driving the children home from school around 4p.m. when the incident occurred.
Sgt. Bruce Reid said it is likely the snow bank that stopped the school bus full of kids from flipping over when it slid off the road near the entrance of the Brookview trailer park."It was one time we were lucky we had lots of snow. If the snow wasn't there chances are the bus would have tipped and it would have been a lot worse.
"We don't know what happened," said Reid, adding a mechanical inspection of the bus was being carried out Friday.
Speed wasn't a factor, impairment wasn't a factor, so it's either something mechanical or driver related."Unless the tire got stuck in the slush on the side of the road Reid said it didn't seem likely the crash was caused by the road conditions. Thursday was a warm day and the road where the crash took place was clear of ice and snow.
The students - aged 11-17 - were checked at the scene by paramedics. No one was injured, but many of the passengers were visibly upset from the trauma of the crash as they stood on the side of the road waiting to be interviewed by officers and to be picked up by their parents.
|Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011||Laura MacInnis/KCR|
SUSSEX - Two house fires in Kings County on Tuesday have left two families homeless - one in Sussex and the other in Passekeag.
A family escaped the Sussex house fire with their lives but two family pets were lost Tuesday morning. The home at 172 Park St. and all the contents belonging to a young family were destroyed, confirmed Fire Chief Bill Wanamaker.
It was the second time in as many days in Sussex that volunteer firefighters battled a blaze with devastating results.
Early Sunday Sussex firefighters were called to a fire on Main Street where two people, 44-year-old Kimberly Lois Friars of Sussex and 20-year-old Travis Lorne LeRoy of Saint John, died of smoke inhalation.
In both cases the fires were accidental, stemming from the stove in the kitchen.
And in each case, Wanamaker said, there were not adequate smoke detectors in the homes.
He said just after 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday an accidental fire started at the stove in the kitchen. When the flames began, two adults carrying two small children - one an infant and the other a toddler - rushed from the house without injury and dialed 911. Two cats did not survive the fire.
When firefighters and police arrived, the two-storey home was engulfed in flames.
The fire spread quickly because of the highly combustible materials used in the construction of the older-style house, Wanamaker said, gutting the inside.
He did not know if the family had insurance.
Wanamaker said poorly placed smoke detectors were a problem in the Park Street home.
"There was no smoke detector in the living area of this house," he said, adding the only detector was in the basement.
"Fortunately everyone was up and about and able to get out of the building," the chief said, "but I don't understand why people don't have smoke detectors in their buildings. Whether it's the loss of all the things you work hard for or your life, a $10 smoke detector is a small price to pay."
While flue fires or those caused by wood stoves are more commonly a problem this time of year, these accidental fires are rare and coincidental in such a short time frame, the chief said.
"It's hard on what is supposed to be a volunteer fire department," he said.
Volunteer firefighters were also out in full force just before noon on Tuesday battling a fire in Passekeag, said Hampton Fire Chief Roger Breau.
He said an old farm house at 89 Passekeag Rd. was destroyed by fire. It took firefighters and their equipment from Hampton, as well as those from the Belleisle Valley, Norton, Nauwigewauk, Kennebecasis Valley and Upham to battle the blaze but the loss was total.
One man was home at the time the fire broke out but managed to escape along with the family dog. Breau said paramedics treated the man, who was suffering from breathing issues as a result of the smoke.
"When we crested the hill in Passekeag it was fully involved," Breau said.
He estimated the family home was about 100 years old. He said while there is no foul play suspected, the cause of the fire is still being investigated. Breau was not sure if the family, which includes teenagers, had insurance.
"An old house like that is pretty dry, and with the amount of wind, the fire went through it pretty fast," Breau said.
"This is a huge loss for that family."
Breau estimated it has been four or five years since Hampton firefighters have been called to such a significant structure fire.
|Wednesday, February 16th, 2011||Tammy Scott-Wallace Telegraph-Journal|
SUSSEX - With the exception of police tape securing the scene, there was little evidence of the tragedy that struck the inside of a Sussex home in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
Police said a 44-year-old Sussex woman, who lived in an apartment on the main level of the structure on the corner of Main and Essex streets, and a 20-year-old Saint John man died of apparent smoke inhalation.
They were both found on the floor in the area of the bedroom. An autopsy is being performed to confirm the cause of death, but foul play is not suspected.
Sgt. Bruce Reid of the Sussex RCMP said police and firefighters responded to a 911 call from a tenant living in the upstairs apartment who was awoken by his smoke detector around 3:45 a.m.
Other than the victims, the caller was the only other person in the building that consists of two apartments and a hair shop that faces the town's main street. He was not injured.
Names of the victims have not been released by police.
Reid said the provincial fire marshal was at the scene Sunday morning and determined the fire started in the kitchen of the small apartment. He said there is evidence to indicate something may have been cooked earlier and the stove was left on.
"It's just a real tragedy," Reid said.
Fire Chief Bill Wanamaker said when firefighters arrived, the small fire in the kitchen was easily extinguished because it had consumed all of the oxygen in the room and had nearly died out on its own.
"But there was real thick, heavy smoke throughout that apartment," he said.
The fire chief said there was one smoke detector in the apartment but it was poorly placed in the bedroom. He cannot confirm whether or not it was working, but he said even if it was in working order, lone smoke detectors should not be placed in rooms that are likely to have the door closed.
Wanamaker was not certain of all the circumstances but he expected the only smoke detector in the apartment was behind the closed door of the bedroom.
"If it did sound, it was too late," he said. Because the victims were not in the bed it is likely they woke up and attempted to flee but it was too late to escape the heavy smoke, he added.
"The fire was knocked down really fast, then the guys proceeded to check the rest of the apartment for extension (of the fire) and that's when they found the victims," the chief explained.
He said proper placement and maintenance of smoke detectors is critical to saving lives.
"Something didn't work right," the chief said. "It gets frustrating for all of us when it goes back to smoke detectors."
He pointed out the most recent, tragic local fire of 2007 in Knightville when four people died because of inadequate smoke detectors.
"Here we are three years later and two more people are gone for the same reason," Wanamaker said. "The young fella upstairs during this fire is alive because of his smoke detector. He told us he owes his life to that detector."
|Monday February 14th, 2011||Tammy Scott-Wallace Telegraph-Journal|
Above:Fire destroyed a barn and all the livestock inside at a farm near Sussex, N.B.
KNIGHTVILLE - There's nothing left of a 200-foot-long barn that burned to the ground at a family farm near Sussex early yesterday morning.
Firefighters responded to the call at about 3:30 a.m. "We've got a barn here that's pretty much destroyed," said Fire Chief Bill Wanamaker of the Sussex Fire Department. "They lost quite a few cattle and pigs in it." No one was injured. The cause of the fire is still unknown and the regional fire marshal is investigating, Wanamaker said. The farm, Giermindl Holdings, is part of a three-tiered family business that also includes a deli and the popular restaurant Gastof Old Bavarian.
Maria Meier, who operates the business with her two sisters, said they lost about 80 cattle and 150 pigs, as well as hens and ducks. "It's all gone," she said. "We couldn't get anything out because of the smoke, you couldn't get near it." The barn also held straw, which probably accelerated the fire, she said. Her mother was the first to discover the fire after she was awoken by a puppy barking relentlessly.
Five volunteer departments responded to the blaze, which happened about 20 kilometres northeast of Sussex. The Sussex fire department received the call, and was first on scene. Volunteer fire departments from Millstream, Penobsquis, Havelock and Petitcodiac also responded to the call.
Sussex sent two pumpers and a rescue unit, and dispatched about 20 firemen, while Penobsquis and Havelock sent two tankers each. Millstream sent three tankers and Petitcodiac sent one, Wanamaker said, and there were about 40 firefighters on scene.
|Thursday, December 17, 2010||Jamie Ross/Times & Transcript|
Above:Members of the Sussex Fire Department, an inspector and member of RCMP survey the fire damage Sept 16 done to the breezeway at the historic train station the night before. Police are calling the incident arson and have launched an investigation.
RCMP say fire was an act of arson - As as late night train roared passed the former train station in Sussex shortly before midnight, firefighters were working diligently to protect the historic building after police said a fire was deliberately set there.
"The structure received a substantial amount of smoke damage and the roof at one end was destroyed," Sussex RCMP Sgt. Bruce Reid said, adding it appeared an accelerant was also used on the exterior of the building.
Sussex Fire Chief Bill Wanamaker said the fire call came in at 11:19 p.m., and because they had just returned from another callout, they were able to respond to Broad Street quickly.
After extinguishing the fire, which police said was started in an outdoor garbage bin, a ventilation hole was cut in the roof over the museum side of the building because of heavy smoke and the fire department wasn't sure just how far the fire had gone.
"It didn't get up in there very much, but it got up in there a little bit," Wanamaker said of the flames.
While firefighters put out most of the fire before it made its way indoors, the fire chief said most of the smoke made its way into the museum side where many artifacts, such as uniforms, photos and weapons from several wars, are on display.
"There's a little bit of water damage," Wanamaker said. "There was a fair bit of smoke in there. I'm not sure what it did to their things but there was a fair bit of smoke on that side."
The former Intercolonial Railway Station was designated a Historic Railway Station by the federal government in 1993. The building is now home to office space, the 8th Hussars Regimental Museum, a visitor information centre and, during the summer months, Sully's ice cream parlour.
Mayor Ralp Carr is at a loss to explain why someone would want to intentionally damage the well-known landmark.
"It's very disheartening to see something like that happen," he said."I don't know what would be in a person's mind to want to do that. Fortunately the damage was not substantial."
Carr explained that the next step is to have building's insurer assess the damage and bring someone in who can investigate and test the structural integrity of the "breezeway" area of the station. As for repairs, the mayor said he doesn't foresee any problem ensuring all necessary repairs are made to the building.
"As I said before, it's an icon and we'll be doing everything we can to bring it back to its previous condition," Carr said.
|Tuesday, September 21, 2010||David Kelly/KCR|
A 17-year-old boy from Sussex Corner lost control of the Subaru he was driving on Post Road around 4:15 p.m. Sept. 14. Police said it appears the teenager over corrected when one of the tires went off the edge of the paved portion of the road. The car turned over in a ditch, landing on the drivers' side.
After the driver and a 16-year-old female passenger were freed from the vehicle by Sussex firefighters, they were transported to the Sussex Health Centre to be treated for minor injuries. Both the driver and passenger were wearing their seatbelts.
|Tuesday, September 21, 2010
A tower of flames and thick, black smoke rise from a home razed by an explsion Aug 13. in Sussex Corner. A 53-year-old man was killed in the blast, the cause of which has yet to be determined.
SUSSEX CORNER - The body of a 53-year-old man was found inside the wreckage of his Sussex Corner home following an explosion that levelled the 2,700-square-foot residence Aug. 13.
The man has been identified as James Harvey Goddard.
Goddard's 51-year-old wife, who was also at the home at the time of the explosion, made it to safety. She was taken to hospital after suffering a laceration to the head. Police said she has since be released.
Police did not find the man's remains until they were able to safely search inside the home the next afternoon when the fire had dissipated.
Emergency crews were called to the house on the Post Road just after 6 p.m. Friday.
Twenty-two members of the Sussex Fire Department were dispatched and members of the Penobsquis department came to assist.
Sussex Fire Chief Bill Wanamaker said the fire was at the back of the house when they arrived. By the time they cleard out at 1 a.m. there was nothing left of the four-bedroom home.
"The house is gone now. It was completely levelled," said Sussex RCMP Sgt. Bruce Reid from the wreckage around 10 a.m. Saturday.
"The emergency disposal unit is on the scene now, clearing some explosives."
Saturday morning much of the street had still been cordoned off to the public as investigators combed over the scene. Reid confirmed that dynamite and detonating wires were found on the property.
The RCMP said Goddard worked with explosives in his job with demolition, but would not comment on the cause of the explosion.
Ainslie Rodgers lives in a subdivision off of Post Road, and even though her residence is farther away, she said her family definitely felt the effects."Our whole house shook. The dog even got up and she was running around." she said.
It was a huge bang. We thought something fell on our house and we went outside to see."
Closer to the explosion five homes were evacuated for safety and families were not allowed to retrun until noon Saturday.
Lydia Janes lives just down the street from where the Goddard home used to sit. She wasn't at home at the time, but she said she heard the explosion. "There was a huge bang. I was on the golf course when i heard it. I was so loud I thought it must have been something at the mine site," Jane said.
"There were a couple of smaller bangs after that, nowhere near as loud as the first, but still loud enough to hear it at the golf course. Ther ewas a big plume of black smoke after that and my husband thought maybe it was a tire fire."
The bright yellow, two storey home with an attached triple-car garage sat on an open lot and had recently undergone renovations. It was listed with Pleasant Valley Realty at a price of $360,000.
|Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Sussex firefighters work to put out eh fire in a garage at 931 Waterford Road. July 22. The garage was still standing once the flames were extinguished but it will likely have to be torn down.
WATERFORD - Foul play is not suspected in a fire that destroyed a garage in Waterford July 22. No one was home at the time of the blaze and the cause is still unknown.
Around 4:17 p.m., the Sussex Fire Department was dispatched to 931 Waterford Rd. where they found a garage engulfed in flames. Fire Chief Bill Wanamaker said firefighters arrived on the scene at 4:28 p.m. and the fire was under control quickly, within 10 minutes.
The Penobquis Fire Department showed up as well with a load of water just in case.
"Going out we didn't know the size of the garage so it's better to be safe than sorry," Wanamaker said.
After the fire was out, Wanamaker said there wasn't much left to the detached garage or its contents. "It was still standing, but it'll have to be torn down."
|Tuesday, July 27, 2010
||Shannon A. MacLeod/KCR
Members of Sussex Fire Department spray water on a large propane tank behind Smittys Family Restaurant July 7 after a leak in the tank was reported. The nearby Gateway Mall and Walmart were evacuated as a precaution.
SUSSEX - Shoppers at Gateway Mall and Walmart were speedily evacuated July 7 around 5 p.m. in response to a propane tank leak at Smitty's Restaurant.
Fire chief Bill Wanamaker said he received a call regarding the leak from a Gateway Mall maintenance worker at 5:02 p.m., and four trucks, a police car and ambulance were on the site within minutes. "Guidelines call for the evacuation of buildings within 330 feet of a leak," said Wanamaker, "so Gateway Mall, Walmart and Smitty's were evacuated."
According to Gateway mall manager Doug Bannister, a passerby noticed propane shooting from the 907-kilogram (2,000 pound) propane tank that powers Smitty's heating and cooling system, as well as all their appliances. He informed the mall maintenance worker, who called 911 immediately.
The heat and sun probably played a role in triggering the pressure release valve, according to Wanamaker. Temperatures in the low 30s were recorded throughout southeastern New Brunswick that day.
The cooling of the valve by firemen meant the emergency was under control quickly. The valve was reset and inspected that same evening, although Smitty's didn't reopen until the following morning.
Coming so close to the end of the work day it was busy time at the mall, but the evacuation was both quick and orderly. For about a half hour, cars were also prevented from entering the area by a roadblock near the Main Street Esso.
"The mall stores were open for business again by 5:45 p.m.," said Bannister.
Smitty's owner Craig Little praised Sussex emergency worker for their fast and efficient response.
Propane is a gas that has been a factor in explosions - and deaths - across Canada.
In late June, a 79-year-old P.E.I. man died fro injuries sustained two months earlier when a stove was lit near an undetected propane tank leak.
Last year, in Riverview a home was totally destroyed by fire when a propane leak from a backyard barbecue ignited.
Wanamaker said the fire department has previously responded to emergencies relating to smaller, private propane tanks.
In the case of privately owned propane tanks, such as thouse in use with backyard barbecues, the onus is on the owner to ensure equipment, including valves, are in good repair.
For businesses using propane, New Brunswick's Department of Public Safety requires all new propane gas installations be inspected by the propane supplier prior to installation. Public Safety also perform periodic inspections of permanent propane tanks that exceed 454-kilograms (1,000 pound) capacity.