Water volume issues hindered firefighters
The fire at the former St. Agnes School in New Waterford was well underway when firefighters arrived on scene at 8:30 a.m. and issues getting water from the hydrants in the area made stopping the blaze a challenge.
Matt Hawley, deputy chief of the New Waterford Volunteer Fire Department, confirms they couldn’t get enough water volume to get the pressure needed for the hoses.
“The trucks themselves can make the pressure,” he explains. “They just need the water volume and we weren’t getting that from the hydrants there.
“When Glace Bay got there with their aerial, they take two fire hydrants. So with them and the already low volume we couldn’t get more water from other hydrants there.”
Fire trucks had to go to different areas of New Waterford to get the water needed to fight the inferno.
“It was in the walls and everything when we got there,” says Hawley. He estimates the fire had probably started a couple of hours before they were called.
Hawley also says that area of New Waterford is known to have some problems with water volume and he thinks work is being done to rectify that problem.
Calls to Greg Penny, manager of water operations for the Cape Breton Regional Muncipality Water Utility, weren’t returned by deadline.