Fire thought to have resulted from electric wiring or a v-belt on a motor, did damage estimated at $1,000s of dollars early Monday morning at Ed’s Body Shop, which is located in the former LeMaistre garage building.
The blaze was discovered at 4.30 in the morning by Thomas Dean, night man at Hotel Almonte which is located next to the structure where the fire broke out. Mr. Dean said he noticed smoke, heard something like an explosion and then saw the ruddy glow. He turned in the alarm. It was a tough assignment for the fire- brigade as the thermometer was hovering around six below zero .
There were hydrants close to the building and the hose was hooked onto the one of High Street next to the hotel. The fire started In a narrow wing of the building that comes out to the sidewalk. Materials such as paint used by auto body workers are very inflammable and apt to explode. The smoke and fumes were dense and the firemen fought the blaze for a considerable time in the bitter, frosty air.
An examination of the premise in daylight showed considerable damage but the blaze had not broken through the walls or the roof and seemed to have been confined to the upper part of the section affected. The only explanation was defective wiring or a motor which came on automatically from time to time to keep up air pressure for spraying machinery.
The fire chief, Durward Washburn on looking things over, thought a v-belt might have done the damage through friction due to slipping when worn. At any rate an examination of the area around the stove showed the fire did start there, so electricity seemed to be the logical answer.
Mr. Gosset, who rents the building from Mr. John LeMaistre had some insurance on part of his equipment, it will be several days before he is operating’ again. A Cadillac car and a newly painted truck will require new paint jobs as a result of the heat, otherwise they were not damaged. Damage to the equipment was not too serious, according to the owner. It is a good thing Mr. Dean happened to see the fire because at 4.30 in the morning there is little or no traffic on that part of Bridge Street and the garage is flanked on either side by the O’Brien Theatre and the Hotel Almonte. Harry Gunn.s Clover Farm groceteria Is located across the street.
Lots of queries this morning. Pete Brunelle asks- Hi Linda would like to know if you found any pics of my grandfather garage , LeMaistre and son , and also my great Grandfather blacksmiths shop , which he ended up bring in an automobile at the time to tera down and rebuild ,, Would love to have something of that nature ,, My grandfather garage is now HB Auto– Anyone have anything?
Steve Nelson Though I am not from Almonte…I really enjoy and appreciate your efforts on this Facebook page. I have great memories of summer holidays spent there as a child visiting my grandparents (Jack and Flo LeMaistre on Water St). Our family goes back to the late 1800’s in Almonte. Thanks again for all your efforts in helping to recall those happy times
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