Woodstock hopeful historic Rose Building can be saved after fire

More than 20 residents and business owners in the Town of Woodstock , N.B. are anxiously waiting to find out what will happen to their homes and workplaces after a fire destroyed a downtown building Tuesday morning.

The historical Rose Building, located on the 600 block of Main Street, was devastated by the fire, leaving residents homeless and forcing business owners to close their stores.

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READ MORE: 22 people displaced by fire in Woodstock, New Brunswick

Woodstock Mayor Arthur Slipp said the town is starting to return to normal, but the future of the building is still unclear. He said structural engineers were on site to do an inspection, but nothing has been determined regarding whether the building will need to be torn down.

“Certainly your first thoughts are for the business owners that suffered losses as a result of merchandise and water damage, and of course we have the tenants that were in apartments above the three buildings that were affected —; so those are the people that we’re first concerned about,” Slipp said.

Woody Milbury, the owner of Woody’s Audio Visual Services, is one of several businesses located near the Rose Building. Milbury, who has operated his eye glass store in the building for 39 years, said everything is water soaked and smoke damage in his store.

“Next for me is waiting to see what they’re going to do with our building structurally before I can go back in and cleanup and do whatever,” Milbury said.

He says he’s waiting on insurance adjusters and structural engineers to determine if he’ll be able to remain in the building.

Milbury says he’s relieved that no one was injured in the fire, and says he’s fortunate he didn’t lose everything.

Hoping historic brick facade could be salvaged

The mayor says the building is in important part of the downtown core, which is a tourist draw.

Slipp says the brick work dates back to the 1800’s and he’s hoping the brick façade can be saved. He says the town is going through a period of readjustment and it will be a loss to the community if the building has to be demolished.

He says the owner of the building is in consultation with structural engineers.

Cause still under investigation

Woodstock Fire Chief Ricky Nicholson tells Global News crews were able to contain the fire and limit damage to one building. He says there is also smoke and water damage to neighbouring buildings.

He says they believe the fire was electrical, but says he’s working with police to determine the official cause.

Fire crews from several nearby communities helped the battle the blaze, including firefighters from Houlton, Maine.