Work shed destroyed by fire in Cape Wolfe

Only a shell remains of Jerry Howard’s work shed after it was engulfed by fire early in the afternoon on Nov. 27. Though the fire was bad, it could have been worse, potentially destroying the boat perched near the building.   Jillian Trainor photo

Jerry Howard is thankful no one was hurt after his work shed was destroyed by fire in Cape Wolfe on Nov. 27.

Crews from fire departments in West Point, O’Leary, Miminegash, and Alberton responded to the call, but by the time they got there, it was too late, and much of the building had burned. Much of their effort went to containing the blaze to make sure it didn’t spread.

It was a clear day, and smoke from the fire could be seen from as far away as Knutsford. Route 14 was closed off in both directions as crews kept the blaze contained.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, but Mr Howard believes the fire started around the flue, and added that it spread like wildfire.

“When I walked in I could see it, the insulation was dripping down on top of the stove,” he said. “I’d say there was probably two full 20 litre (containers) of gas inside the door, and propane tank. You could hear the banging now and then, just like a bomb.”

The smell of smoke was thick in the air as crews doused the building, and small bits of ash could be seen falling here and there. Bits of charred debris fell as fire crews were on scene. Sometimes there was so much smoke, what was left of the building wasn’t even visible.

The shed was about 70 x 46 feet, and had two levels, the main floor and a loft. It contained tires and fishing gear, along with valuable machinery including a new good mower, a bar clam engine, two bar clam pumps, and a wench valued between eight and nine thousand dollars.

“My son took my fishing gear over five years ago,” said Mr Howard. “He’s got a lot of stuff in there, all his fishing gear, his buoys, webbing for his traps he was to build this winter. All that’s gone.”

Mr Howard’s son, André, is currently in Nashville, Tennessee.

Though the shed is gone, Mr Howard is grateful that it wasn’t worse. No one was injured, and the wind was blowing in the right direction. Had it been blowing from the north east, André’s fishing boat, which is right next to the shed, could have been destroyed as well.

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