Media Releases

Fire forces residents from rooming house

Fire forced 20 residents from a downtown rooming house during the early hours of Monday, Nov. 1, 2021.

“We received the call at about a quarter to four this morning,” Greg Jones, Amherst’s director of fire services, said shortly before 5 a.m. “The call said it was a structure fire at 4 Prince Arthur St., so we rolled the full complement of the fire department.”

When firefighters arrived on the scene, smoke was coming out two back doors that led to the basement of the three-storey rooming house.PA fire 7 B

They quickly ran lines in through both doors and fought the fire from within the building. They had the fire out about 45 minutes after their arrival.

“Everyone got out of the building,” Jones said. “None of the residents or the 46 firefighters on the scene were physically injured.”

The department called the Red Cross, seeking assistance for the displaced residents. The Red Cross tweeted at about 9:15 a.m. that they provided emergency lodging, food and clothing for 16 people. The other four had left the scene before the Red Cross volunteers have arrived, but will be offered similar help if needed.

The fire was mostly confined to the basement of the structure, though it did creep up the walls a bit, Jones said. The extent of the fire damage to the basement was still being determined around 9 a.m. as was the extent to which it had creeped up the walls.

The fire department was assisted by a town water crew and Nova Scotia Power crew. They shut off the water and power to the building.

The majority of the firefighters departed the scene around 5:30 a.m., though some remained on scene with members of the Amherst Police Department to provide scene security.