BARRINGTON PASSAGE - Community support has helped a couple and local real estate entrepreneurs back on their feet following an overnight fire on Dec. 17 that destroyed the building in Barrington Passage where they were renting.
It was a complete loss of belongings for tenants Tyrone Nickerson and his partner Crystal Ross O’Connell, and of office supplies and equipment for real estate agents Bobbi Maxwell, Jamie Reynolds and Sandie Lee Stoddard, when fire destroyed the property that had served the community as a medical clinic for many years. No one carried tenant’s insurance.
The loss was doubly hard on Stoddard, who also lost all her personal and household belongings, which were stored in the building for the winter.
Since the fire, support for all has come in through various means throughout the community and the Red Cross. There was even a community fundraiser for the couples’ pets, Gus, the Maine Coon Cat, and Brody, the Pug Shih Tzu Mix dog.
“We have had a lot of support from the community,” said Tyrone Nickerson. “We’ve had a lot of support and it’s been nice. It has turned a bad experience into something that brings a little bit of gratitude and makes you feel good. The community is great around this area like that.”
Nickerson said he is thankful no one was injured or there was no loss of life.
“We got the animals out okay. Everything else can be looked after,” said Nickerson. “We are fortunate and fine. Everything is good. We can roll forward from now on.”
The real estate entrepreneurs have also received help and support.
“The community response from the businesses has been really supportive,” said Bobbi Maxwell, with donations of desks, chairs, filing cabinets a printer and other supplies. “As far as we go the office will be okay. The people who had the most to lose were the residents and Sandi with her stuff in storage. We just want to focus on making them whole again in anyway we can. We are from a community that rallies together and we’ll get there.”
Maxwell said she and her partners had just celebrated a year in business as independent real estate agents for View Point Realty in November.
“We started out with nothing and were collecting as we went and as we were doing well. We had just gotten it to the point where we were in a good place so it was very emotional,” said Maxwell. “We had all worked so hard to get where we were and then it was taken out from under us. You have that minute of oh my gosh you don’t have the energy to start over but when people start encouraging you, it like heck yes, we’re going to get through this. We’re going to be ok.”
Maxwell, Reynolds and Stoddard have been able to find temporary office space in a mini-home behind the Mayflower Bakery in Barrington Passage.
“One good thing about our business is View Point has everything on an electronic data bases so every file we have is on a computer at their office. We’re very thankful no records were lost.”
Maxwell said they are thankful there were no injuries or loss of live as a result of the fire. “Everybody is just glad everyone is ok.”
The building destroyed by the fire was built circa 1888-1895. For many years the property was home to Dr. Hunter Blair, where he lived and practiced family medicine, along with other physicians. The property was purchased by the Municipality of Barrington in 2001 and operated as a community health clinic until a few years ago when it was sold in 2015 to Butler’s Estates Ltd. For the past several years View Point Realty has occupied the building.
The fire call came in just before midnight on Sunday, Dec. 17, to the Island Barrington Passage Fire Department. Volunteer fire departments from throughout Shelburne and Yarmouth counties were dispatched to the blaze including West Pubnico, East Pubnico, Shelburne, Barrington/Port LaTour, Woods Harbour-Shag Harbour, Port Clyde and Yarmouth for the use of the aerial ladder, according to Dahl Dispatch.
Firefighters were on the scene until 4:40 a.m.