Stolen pumps found three days before fire

  • Mar. 17, 2010 1:00 p.m.

Firefighting equipment stolen from the Tow Hill community turned up near the Masset cemetery last week – just three days before a fire burned down the Moon Over Naikoon Bakery on Tow Hill Road. Masset RCMP said they received an anonymous call March 7 about the equipment and its location. They went to Cemetery Beach and found two new Honda pumps and other firefighting equipment that had been reported stolen from the Tow Hill community fire shed in mid-January. Tow Hill advisory committee member Chris Ashurst said the equipment was in good condition. “It was basically all there, $5,000 worth of stuff,” he said. “They’d just ditched it… Luckily, whoever found it called the cops.” The equipment was returned just in time. Mr. Ashurst said community members found themselves dealing with a real fire three days later, before they’d even had time to schedule a training session with the equipment. Three Tow Hill Road residents responded to the Moon Over Naikoon fire March 10, Mr. Ashurst said, racing to the site with the equipment. Unfortunately, one small but vital piece was missing and so the pumps couldn’t be used as intended. In this case, it made no difference, he said, as there was no way to put out the blaze. The loss of the bakery is devastating on many levels, he said. It was the community’s only bakery, it created several summer jobs for community members, and it contained much cultural and natural history of the Tow Hill area, such as whale bones and meteorites. “You’d think meteorites would survive a fire, but they just crumbled to dust,” he said.