WEYMOUTH, N.S. - Karen and Gary Cooper woke up at 4:20a.m. to the sound of power lines cracking outside their Weymouth home.
They looked outside and saw a cloud of orange flames engulfing the former Weymouth Trading Post and old library.
“We went outside and it was just like standing next to a campfire,” said Karen Cooper.
The Coopers live across the street, a couple houses away from the fire.
The couple set up chairs and got cold water ready for the many firefighters from the 11 departments that rushed to the scene.
Pat Comeau is the owner of the Goodwin Hotel, located across the street from the fire at 4616 Evangeline Trail, Weymouth.
She woke up at 4:30 and thought she heard construction work outside but after looking out the window, she quickly realized it was a fire.
Comeau, her family and the guests at the hotel had to evacuate the building.
“I didn’t think about anything else, just getting out safely. Now I think maybe it would be a good idea to be prepared for something like this, like having some valuables in a metal box you can just grab and go,” she said.
The fire damaged the siding on the hotel and broke three windows, making two rooms at the hotel unusable until they are fixed.
“I’ve never been this close to a fire in my life,” she said.
The hotel lost power, along with the Coopers and most other residents on the hotel side of the Weymouth bridge.
The businesses on the other side of the bridge like Sissiboo Landing and Home Hardware all do have power.
Nova Scotia power is on scene working to restore power. Home owners in the area were informed the power will be back on as soon as possible but because power poles were damaged, it may be close to midnight before it is returned.
Another building across the street from the fire, the Mazel Musical Arts Society, was damaged severely. It was the former bank in Weymouth.
Trees next to the art society and the Goodwin hotel had to be cut down because they were on fire. The remaining trees have burnt leaves from the reach of the flames.
Randy Sabine owns one of the buildings now completely destroyed by the fire. He said the building was mainly used for storage and a tenant used a section of the building for an antique store.
Sabine has owned the building for roughly eight years. He was informed by a friend at 4:30 this morning that has building was on fire.
He was at the scene all morning but he didn’t wish to comment on how he was feeling about the fire at this time.
According to a 2010 Digby Courier article, the former Trading Post building was 160 years old. The Weymouth Trading Post officially closed its doors in 2010 and former owner Louise Mullen sold the building.
As of noon on Aug. 29, firefighters were still on scene fighting the fire. RCMP officers are assisting with diverting traffic in the area.
Due to the fire Bell would like to advise the public about phone line outages. Bell is on site and have re-routed 242 phone lines to restore service. However there are still approximately 200
wirelines without service.
The remaining approximately 200 wirelines affected are in the following communities: Belliveau Cove, Stillwater Lake, Meteghan River, Amiraults Corner, Plympton, Weymouth and Freeport.
There are no 911 dispatch points affected by this outage. At this time there is no estimated timeframe for service to be restored.
We will update the story as more information becomes available.