That fire on Maitland—in living colour

A spectacularly profane passerby captured vivid video of the suspicious fire that destroyed a building under construction on Maitland Street, Halifax, early Monday morning.

This footage captures the first moments of the fire. The sound of approaching sirens doesn’t come until nearly two minutes in. At 2:20 the fire appears to go through what firefighters call “flashover,” and at 2:40, the first truck appears (at least as seen from the phone-toting videographer’s vantage).

When Halifax Fire division commander Brad Connors said the three-storey building was “fully involved” when his crews arrived, he wasn’t kidding. It’s a sobering reminder of how little time you have to get to safety in a dwelling fire.

(If you are at work, or near very young children, you may want to mute the sound.)

The ripe commentary is worth the price of admission, especially the dude who keeps pestering Ms. Camera Phone for a cigarette. (Please note, if you find yourself in position to record potentially newsworthy video, turn the phone horizontally.)

My condolences to building owner Margot Cantwell, who saw a lot of hard work go up in flames, pointlessly. As Tim Bousquet reported at Halifax Examiner, it’s a scary situation for residents and business owners in this lively section of downtown Halifax.

This is a block away from 5426 Portland Place, which was destroyed by fire on September 14, 2014; that building contained the offices of RCR Hospitality Group and National Art Limited, among other tenants. Fifteen months later, the Portland Place fire remains under investigation and is not in the fire department’slisting of investigation summaries.

It’s unclear who took the video, which was posted to YouTube pseudonymously and reposted to Facebook by the great JK.