From The Scrapbook By Rev. Bill Randall

From The Scrapbook

1990 Mar. 9

By Dr. Bill Randall

The McAdam Fire Of 1975

On December 21, 1975, a large section of the community’s commercial district in the South-western

New Brunswick Village of McAdam was destroyed by fire Sunday, when flames raced along both sides of Main Street.

Four families were left homeless as a result of the fire, but none were injured.

The Little and Thorbum Clothing and Hardware Store: its two warehouses and buildings housing the T. Eaton Co. Ltd. Mail Order Office, Peter Forbes’ Law Office, and the McAdam Ladies Aid Shop, were leveled in the worst fire in recent history of the Village. Fire also damaged Anderson’s Furniture Store, the White House Restaurant, the Branch of The Bank of Nova Scotia, and the Baptist Church and Parsonage.

Damage was estimated at a quarter of a million dollars.

More than one hundred firemen and volunteers battled the blaze for almost seven hours in temperature of -25 degrees on the celsius scale. Firemen from Harvey and Vanceboro, Maine. joined with the Village Fire Department and Canadian Pacific Railway equipment and crews in the battling blaze.

The fire is believed to have started from an exploding oil stove in an apartment above the Clothing and Hardware Store occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Brian MacDougall. Mr. and Mrs. Willard McKay, who occupied the other apartment, were forced to flee without any possessions.

Two apartments above the furniture store were also damaged, forcing the occupants into the street.

Firemen were able to salvage Christmas parcels in the T Eaton Co. store but a large supply of toys and other merchandise in the basement were lost.

Handicraft articles and used goods sold as a fund-raising project by the hospital Ladies Ad were lost. Some merchandise was salvaged from the Anderson Furniture Store,

Mayor Carroll, who was at the scene of the fire, said it was a miracle that the fire did not spread further.

A spokesman for the Harvey Station Brigade said when the alarm was received about 3:30 a.m., firemen could see the flames from six miles away and we thought the whole town was going.

Hydro and telephone services were interrupted but later restored by crews from St. Stephen who arranged by-pass lines around the scene. For a time, the community was isolated but R.C.M.P. used their radio system to summon help from other Fire Departments.

C.P.R. Auxiliary Crews normally stationed in the village were late getting to the laze since they were in Maine making repairs at a 10-car derailment.

The High School students who helped man the hose line in the sub-freezing temperatures were a great assistance in conquering the blaze.

Source: Rev. Bill Randall’s “From The Scrapbook Vol. One.”

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