Editorial – It Was Likely The Biggest Fire In The History of Northumberland County And It Happened Fifteen Years Ago

In Editor Choice, Editorial, Photo Gallery

It was a massive fire.

Likely the biggest Cobourg has ever witnessed that happened 15 years ago.

It was so big, the military were called.

It was April 25, 2005 and it was a day, those in the community will never forget.

The fire caused an estimated $10 million dollars damage to mostly product at Horizon Plastics in Northam Industrial Park.

A number of people were evacuated and at one point, the fire threatened many other buildings in the industrial park.

Firefighters from across Northumberland County and beyond came to battle the flames.

It was so big, it created it’s own wind pattern for the amount of oxygen it was consuming.

Firefighters did their best to extinguish the flames.

It was a ferocious fire.

Firefighters at one point had to back away so fast they didn’t have time to get their hoses.

The burning, melting plastic looked like lava as it slowly moved across the roadway.

Firetrucks had to move back several times because of the head.

Vehicles couldn’t be moved in time and were quickly consumed.

A hydrant even melted. Something an investigator mentioned he’d never witnessed before.

Coming back from Port Hope it was clear by the thick, black smoke billowing up from the area it was a major fire – and it only got bigger until all the product in the yard was burned.

It was something I had to get too.

Coming down Division Street, there were many vehicles drawn to the flames. During the brief drive, at times, the only way to get there was to drive down the middle lane.

As everyone was evacuating the industrial park, I managed to get in and up close.

In the end surprisingly and thankfully the building was saved even though there were millions of dollars lost in product.

A firetruck from CFB Trenton put an end to the flames. By the time officials got through the red-tape to get the truck to Cobourg, the fire was essentially under control as most of the product was burned.

Two youths were charged with setting the fire, but those charges were later dropped.

Everyone of the firefighters on scene acted heroically that day. It was something that will go down in history how the town worked together under a State of Emergency.

Hopefully it will be something the town never has to go through again.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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