In the early hours of May 19th, emergency crews responded to a fire at the newly rebuilt Fort La Tour, a national historic site in Saint John, New Brunswick. Although the fire was quickly extinguished, Beth Hatt, the Chair of the Fort La Tour Development Authority reported that one of the interpretation buildings closest to the water sustained heavy fire damage along one wall and a large portion of the roof. The Saint John Police are investigating the fire which has been deemed suspicious.
Chris Long, owner of ServiceMaster Restore of Saint John, was tasked with the emergency restoration of the site. “We were proud to be entrusted when we received the emergency call from Heather McMillian - Executive Director, to secure the site, mitigate any further damage and complete abatement clean up,” commented Long.
Fort La Tour is a designated national historic site for its connection to governor of Acadia, Charles de Saint-Étienne de La Tour, and the re-development is meant to evoke what the fortified French fur trading post might have looked like in 1631 when it was built. The $1.8 million project that was years in the making was weeks away from opening to the public.
Hatt stated, “The fire at our historical Place Fort La Tour was an unfortunate incident, but we are rebuilding. The speed and flexibility showed by ServiceMaster Restore of Saint John was very much appreciated and we thank them. Everything was cleaned and stabilized so there would be no further damage.”
There has been no shortage of community support to see this tourist attraction repaired and opened this summer. This unfortunate setback for Fort La Tour means loss of anticipated revenues that were being counted on to cover the remaining construction and start-up expenses, as well as increased costs for enhanced security, fencing, and other expenses associated with the fire. A Canada Helps page has been created to offset these unforeseen extra costs.