Advocate up and running after fire

Community

Firefighters contain outbreak to shipping area

PICTOU – Work at the Advocate Printing plant on Brown’s Point Road is getting back to normal this week after a major fire that damaged part of the plant on Sunday afternoon.

While the damage could have been worse, those working for and associated with the Advocate are thankful that one of its employees noticed smoke from the plant shortly after noon.

Lynn Nelson, who works in accounts receivable, was passing the plant along Highway 106 on her way to New Glasgow she saw smoke and immediately dialed 911.

“It was about a quarter after 12,” she said. “I noticed smoke coming out from between the roof and the top of the wall around the shipping area.”

Crews from the Pictou Fire Department and a number of others were at the scene of the fire that began around mid-day.

A ladder truck from the New Glasgow Fire Department was brought in to pour water through the roof into the facility, but the fire was brought under control enough for the crew to return to New Glasgow in the late afternoon.

Traffic was reduced into Brown’s Point Road and along Haliburton Road while the fire was being contained.

Only smoke could be seen from the outside along the middle and southern end of the plant area.

Advocate president and CEO Sean Murray praised the speedy initial response by Nelson and the Pictou Fire Department for helping to reduce the impact of the fire and the staff for its response this week.

“It is through adversity that you see the best in people,” he said. “We are extremely thankful to Lynn Nelson, a long-time Advocate team member who spotted the fire and called 911, Pictou Fire Chief Paul Janes and all of the brave firefighters who responded from Pictou County’s various departments and our Advocate team who are hard at work to make sure all client needs are met.

Murray said the smoke and water damage was a bigger issue than the actual fire. He said having acquired Eastern Sign Print some time ago allowed the signage component of the plant to be removed. That space is being utilized for shipping and receiving, he said.

“Buildings are repairable and contents are replaceable,” he said. “I am happy to report that no employees were in the building at the time and that our County’s firefighters battled the blaze without injury. We have a full complement of staff working (Monday). Our shipping and receiving area that was affected by the fire has been relocated and is operating. We do not anticipate any interruption in production.”

The fire originated in the shipping area, but Pictou fire chief Paul Janes was not immediately available to confirm the cause.