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Large structure fire in Bathurst, N.B., under control but still active, officials say

The blaze broke out at an Eddy Group location, a building materials store that sells plumbing, HVAC, and electrical supplies. The Bathurst, N.B., fire department initially put out a statement about the fire at 9:56 p.m. on Saturday, advising people to avoid the area. Photo credit: Peter M. Jarratt. Peter M. Jarratt

A large structure fire that broke out at a business in Bathurst, N.B., on Saturday night and forced residents of St. Anne St. to evacuate is still active, but under control, according to officials.

In a Facebook update provided at 3:18 a.m. on Sunday, the City of Bathurst said that a temporary shelter, set up at the City Hall Pavillion Gym, closed at 3 a.m. as it was deemed safe for residents to return to their homes — despite the burning still persisting at the time. Since then, the gym has re-opened to the public.

Kim Chamberlain, the city’s mayor, said people who are concerned about being in close proximity of the fire will be able to access the facility throughout the day on Sunday.

“If anybody is concerned with the quality of air, if you’re having a difficult time breathing, please let us know,” she said in a Facebook video posted on Sunday morning, adding that local police will be going around to inform the neighbourhood’s residents about the option.

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Rising smoke could be seen from a distance as the massive structure fire in Bathurst, N.B., broke out on Saturday night. Peter M. Jarratt

An air quality advisory was issued by the city at 11:00 p.m. on Saturday for people in the Western area of St. Anne Street, with the potential to impact areas such as nearby Parkwood Heights and South Tetagouche.

“If you can, protect your indoor air from smoke by keeping windows and doors closed, and using a clean good quality air filter in your ventilation system,” read a statement from the Bathurst Fire Department.

“If you have an air conditioning system, ensure it is set to recirculation mode or close the outdoor intake damper.”

The fire seen from across the water in Bathurst, N.B., on Saturday night. Peter M. Jarratt

The blaze occurred at an Eddy Group location, a building materials store that sells plumbing, HVAC, and electrical supplies. The city’s fire department initially put out a statement about the fire at 9:56 p.m. on Saturday, advising people to avoid the area.

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The mayor also mentioned that the community partnered with the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization and the Canadian Red Cross during the evacuation.

Chamberlain said there are no mandatory evacuation orders as of Sunday morning.

The mayor also advised residents to contact police if they have any immediate safety concerns related to the fire, adding that updates will continue to be provided through the city’s social media channels.

In a social media post on Sunday morning, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs shared a statement regarding the blaze.

“My thoughts this morning are with Bathurst residents who have been and continue to be affected by this fire,” Higgs said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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“Thank you to emergency crews, volunteers, and Mayor Kim Chamberlain for the tireless work you have given to serve your community and make sure people are safe.”

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