The North Winds Inn and Suites in Brackley Beach will rebound from a devastating fire Sunday, says a co-owner.
Sixteen executive suites, each measuring 1,600 square feet and featuring a jacuzzi, fire place and full kitchen, were destroyed in the fire that broke out around 4 p.m. July 28.
The building with the 16 units was separate from two other buildings containing 70 units. Those units were not damaged.
“So, we are not out of business by any means,’’ says Murray MacPherson.
“Things will go on.’’
MacPherson plans to rebuild the lost units that he valued at more than $2 million. He built them in 1999 after purchasing North Winds in 1996. North Winds was converted from a horse barn into a hotel about 30 years ago.
The property is insured against fire.
MacPherson is grateful none of his guests suffered serious injuries. One guest did incur minor burns.
Insane fire in Brackley right now. Sooo scary!Posted by Theresa Quinn on Sunday, July 28, 2019
Six of the 16 suites were booked but only two were occupied – each with two people - when the fire started.
MacPherson said the suites were booked solid for the next month.
North Winds is in the process of contacting those people to find alternate locations.
Some guests also left units in the other two buildings despite those structures being spared from the fire.
“They couldn’t handle the fire engines,’’ says MacPherson, who has also been shaken up by the blaze.
“It’s hard not to get emotional, I guess. It’s okay. We’ll get through it.’’
He praised neighbours for bringing food to feed the guests.
“We’re getting an awful lot of support from the community,’’ he says.
“It’s really good to be on P.E.I., I guess.’’
MacPherson believes the blaze was caused by mulch igniting, but the province’s fire marshall has yet to make a final determination.
Mulch, which is a combustible substance, was the cause of a devastating apartment fire last week in Charlottetown that resulted in 52 people being displaced.
Charlottetown Fire Inspector Winston Bryan warned recently of misuse of cigarette butts and other flammables round the coloured woody mulch popular in gardens to dress up a yard.
A spark can smoulder underneath the top layer of mulch for some time, in some cases spreading a layer of fire up to 10 feet across, before breaking out in flames, he explained.