01/09/2012 08:31 EST | Updated 03/10/2012 05:12 EST

Fire destroys Rogersville village offices

A one-storey building containing Rogersville, N.B.'s town hall, fire station and RCMP offices has been destroyed in an early morning fire, the village's mayor says.

A Rogersville resident spotted the fire at about 5 a.m. Monday.

Mayor Pierrette Robichaud said when she arrived at the town hall 15 minutes later the building was engulfed in flames while local firefighters could only watch from across the street.

"That was the saddest part — to see them out there, looking on helplessly," the mayor said. "They didn’t have any equipment. They had one truck but it was a rescue truck."

A Miramichi fire crew came to help put out the fire.

The mayor said the fire started so quickly the firefighters were unable to salvage much of their equipment. Two trucks were driven out of the building, Robichaud said, but "80 to 85 per cent" of the fire department's equipment has been destroyed.

RCMP, who described the structure as a "total loss," are setting up a mobile command post in the village for the investigation. It will become their home until a permanent office is found.

The provincial Office of the Fire Marshal is joining the RCMP in the investigation.

Robichaud said she is comforted in knowing that no one was hurt in the blaze.

"We have to look at the bright side — if there is one," the mayor said. "Nobody was injured.

"It is all materials that we can replace. Maybe the only thing that we can’t replace is a lot of history, as far as municipal history [that] was inside the building."

Two schools located on the same street — W-F-Boisvert School and Ecole Secondaire Assomption — were closed on Monday because of the fire.