A local tour company owner is happy his home is still standing following a morning fire that destroyed four of his vehicles.
John Furzeland, owner of Molega Tours on Beamish Road in East Uniacke, had a bit of a manic Monday, Jan. 14.
“I had just got out of the shower and I was in the bedroom and saw what looked like increased fog, cause it was foggy here at the time, and then I saw a little bit of soot and thought I had a chimney fire,” recalled Furzeland in a phone interview Jan. 15.
Furzeland peered out around the front of his house to find one of his tour buses burning in the yard.
“I quickly ran and got the keys to all of the other vehicles, ran to the back of the house cause I couldn’t get out through the front because of the fire, and got out and moved one vehicle, which is our largest,” he said.
“By the time I got it parked, the fire had spread from two buses to one of our vans and I just decided at that point it wasn’t safe to try and get the second van out of there.”
Ryan Penny, a deputy chief with the Uniacke & District Fire Department, says a neighbour was the first to spot the flames and put in a call for service.
“When we arrived on scene around 10:30 a.m., one of the buses was on fire and, with the wind and everything going, it spread… to the other three buses that were there and started to catch the structure of the house on fire, too.”
Penny says departments from Brooklyn and Sackville answered calls for mutual aid, giving the firefighters enough manpower to extinguish the blaze before the house was seriously damaged.
“We got the fire knocked down quickly and saved the structure.”
Penny says the fire started in one of the buses, but the cause is still under investigation.
Furzeland estimates it would cost about $400,000 to replace the two buses and two vans lost in the fire. He says Molega Tours will forge ahead with a smaller fleet for the time being.
“Depending on what happens with insurance, we may be scaled back from five vehicles to three, which means that for the short term we will not be hiring back as many staff, but the company is still going to be going strong.”
Furzeland says he feels luck was on his side Monday morning.
“We were very lucky that all of the damage that was done to the house was just on the outside from the looks of things.”
He says he has the local volunteer firefighters to thank for that.
“My hat’s off to the fire department for their quick response and the mutual aid help that came in from the other fire departments. They did a wonderful job in saving our home,” he said.
“The vehicles can be replaced.”
No one was injured in the fire.