A major fire in downtown Saint-Léonard, N.B. Sunday afternoon destroyed an unoccupied two-and-a-half-story building.

The Saint-Léonard Fire Department responded to the call at 12:09 p.m. at a building on Main Street (Rue Principale) that historically housed Madawaska Weavers. Fire crews from six neighboring communities on both sides of the border responded to the blaze, with a total of more than 50 firefighters on the scene.

Thick smoke billowed into the downtown area when crews arrived. Two ladder trucks were deployed to help battle the blaze. Ambulance services were also called in and nearby buildings, including a nursing home and a few apartment buildings were evacuated.

Saint-Léonard Fire Chief Charles Chiasson told Acadie Nouvelle that the fire was quite intense at times, but firefighters were able to contain the flames to the abandoned building. None of the surrounding structures were damaged.

Fire Departments from Grand Falls, Saint-Andre, Drummond, Saint-Anne-de-Madawaska, Van Buren, Maine and Grand Isle, Maine provided mutual aid for the Saint-Leonard department.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. We’ll have more information as it becomes available.

Photo of Madawaska Weavers in Saint Leonard (1964)

demelerlespinceaux.umce.ca

From the photo collection of the University of Moncton, Edmundston campus

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