I feel like I’d be remiss if I didn’t post SOMETHING about the Spryfield fire on Victoria Day, although this is massively out of date. At the time, I was working the phones at CBC and calling all around the neighbourhood as news came back from our two reporting crews on the ground. So I didn’t exactly have time to blog, but it was a very interesting overall picture.
At 4:00 we heard about the fire on the scanner and I called first to a home on Williams Lake Road. A woman said they could see the smoke and the wind was blowing in exactly the same direction as it did last time – towards the Purcells Cove Road. She told me her family had the photo albums gathered up in case they needed to leave. At a home in Fergusons Cove the man there hadn’t heard anything, but when I asked he went out on his back deck and he could see a small bit of smoke in the distance. He could smell smoke and hear sirens. On Wyndrock Drive there was a crowd that was standing on the edge of Williams Lake watching the fire burn across the lake. A man told me a helicopter had just landed on the ground at Cunard Junior High School. On Thornhill Drive, on the opposite side of Herring Cove Road from the fire, I reached a man who had a view down to the area that was burning. He estimated the flames were about 60 feet in the air. He said he could see thick black smoke about four or five blocks long, and he believed he could see large things burning which he guessed were half-built houses in the Governers Brook subdivision. (Later we learned from Halifax Fire that there had been no property damage so this turned out to be not true).
About this time the police were setting up roadblocks on Purcells Cove Road. A man who lived on Purcells Cove Road, just a couple hundred metres inside the roadblock, called in to say he could see smoke blowing across the road, and the police had started telling people to leave. He said he was staying to protect his home from vandals (later we heard at least one home was robbed during the fire).
It was quite an adrenaline rush to be gathering all this from people in the area. I am told there is still a lot of deadwood in the area and even though we’ve had rain lately people should be careful about fires and chucking away cigarettes.