RCMP, fire officials investigating ‘suspicious’ fire that destroyed lobster pound

Sipekne'katik Band Councillor Alex McDonald says his lobster pound in Saint Bernard, N.S. was destroyed in a fire on Christmas Day/Photo by Stephen Brake

A fire that destroyed a lobster pound in Saint Bernard, N.S. on Christmas Day is under investigation by both the RCMP and local fire officials.

“We do feel the fire is suspicious,” RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Jennifer Clarke wrote in an email to Ku’ku’kwes News on Wednesday.

Fire Chief Daniel Gaudet with the Saint Bernard Fire Department also confirmed his department is investigating the cause of the fire.

“We’re hoping in the next couple of days we’ll have everything wrapped up,” Gaudet said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

The lobster pound belonged to Sipekne’katik Band Councillor Alex McDonald who is currently taking part in the commercial lobster fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia.

McDonald confirmed to Ku’ku’kwes News on Tuesday that he was notified by RCMP about the fire at his lobster pound.

McDonald did not respond to Ku’ku’kwes News’ request for an interview on Wednesday.

Six fire departments helped extinguish fire at lobster pound

Fire Chief Gaudet said his department received a call the about the fire at the lobster pound at 4 a.m. on Christmas Day. He said it took firefighters four hours to extinguish it.

The fire department was called back to pound later in the day at 4:20 p.m. due to what Gaudet described as a “flare up” caused by the strong winds.

“The wind picked up quite a bit and (the fire) took the rest of the building,” Gaudet explained.

Firefighters from six fire departments helped extinguish the fire, Gaudet said. An excavator was also called in to help with putting out the fire, he added.

“Everything had fallen on top of each other and there was a lot of tin in the building. It was difficult for the firefighters to get to the scene of the fire so then an excavator was used to get stuff out of the way so that we could extinguish the fire,” Gaudet said.

The fire chief said that due to the excavation done at the scene, it will make the ongoing investigation into the cause of the fire more difficult.

“Everything’s moved around and there was nothing left to the building so it’s hard to conduct a proper investigation but we’re still investigating it just the same,” Gaudet said.

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About Maureen Googoo 270 Articles
Maureen Googoo is an award-winning journalist from Indian Brook First Nation (Sipekne'katik) in Nova Scotia. She has worked in news more than 30 years for media outlets such as CBC Radio, the Chronicle-Herald and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. Maureen has an arts degree in political science from Saint Mary's University in Halifax, a journalism degree from Ryerson University in Toronto and a Masters degree in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City.