Nova Scotia Journal

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Abandoned parish hall in New Waterford ruined by fire

Nova Scotia

Key takeaways: 

  • The fire chief says the reason for the blaze is uncertain.
  • The Carmel Centre in New Waterford, N.S., has been deserted since it shut in 2018. 

In New Waterford, N.S., an abandoned structure has burned to the floor.

The New Waterford Fire Department was called to a fire at the Carmel Centre at about 2:45 a.m. AT on Friday, stated fire chief Matt Hawley.

“Upon coming on the scene, there was smoke coming from every orifice of the structure,” he stated. 

“We gained access, but I had to pull the men back because it was quite involved inside.”

Hawley told the center had been empty for a long time, and he wasn’t sure of the goodness of the building. No one was hurt.

Hawley said about a dozen firefighters replied to the happening and were on scene till almost 10 a.m.

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In New Waterford, N.S., an abandoned structure has burned to the floor

The reason for the blaze is uncertain, and there won’t be any other probe, he said.

“We had to get in an excavator to pull it down because it was dangerous leaving it the way it was,” stated Hawley. 

The Carmel Centre had been the hall for the closeby Parish of Saint Leonard. The blaze did not harm the church. 

Slated for destruction

Cape Breton Regional Municipality Coun. Darren O’Quinn, who represents District 11, notified CBC News that the Carmel Centre has been shut since 2018 and will be destroyed sometime this year.

The structure used to be home to some non-profit organizations but closed down after the community that looked after it couldn’t secure a budget.

The Carmel Centre Society wanted to refurbish the facility and turn it into a neighborhood health clinic. The Nova Scotia government later funded a new health hospital in New Waterford made on a different site. 

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