‘Challenging’ fire put strain on Baie Verte fire department, says chief

The Baie Verte fire chief says high winds made fighting a fire at a long-standing bed and breakfast over the weekend tough, and with a house and a church nearby, the pressure was on. 

Firefighters spent the better part of 24 hours at the scene of the fire, which levelled the Dorset Country Inn in Baie Verte over the weekend. 

The inn was destroyed by the fire, which broke out Saturday evening, just before 10 p.m. 

Fire Chief Lorne Head said guests were staying at the hotel at the time, and they all managed to get out safely.

“The winds started picking up, so it was quite the challenge for our crew,” said Head. 

The fire was under control by about 2 a.m., and Head said crews remained on scene until suppertime Sunday cleaning up hot spots.

“We were worried that it would spread to the other two buildings to our north, and that would have been devastation for us.”

The Dorset Country Inn was close to a residence and a church, and Head feared the fire would spread to those properties. 

“It put a lot of stress on our department for a few hours,” he said. 

“It was an old building that was added on to many times over the years, so any time you’re fighting a fire like that it makes it a lot more challenging because fire gets in between walls between ceilings and finding that source is very hard. Once it breaks through, in those old buildings it moves pretty quickly,” Head said.

Head says fires in old structures can be very challenging. (Melissa Tobin/CBC)

In 2017, a seniors’ home was destroyed by fire in Baie Verte, and just this past summer a private residence was lost in a fire.

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