Priest injured in rectory fire

Published March 1, 2003

Parish warden Walter Naugle (left) examines the damaged rectory with Rev. Art Nash. Rev. David Garrett suffered smoke inhalation in the fire.

A priest in the diocese of Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island will be off work for six weeks after suffering smoke inhalation when his rectory caught fire.

An asthmatic, Rev. David Garrett, incumbent at the two-point parish of Seaforth, N.S., was in intensive care for two days.

The fire broke out at 2 a.m. on Feb. 15; the priest and two houseguests, including Rev. Peter Harris of Charlottetown’s St. Peter’s Cathedral escaped the blaze, but Mr. Garrett attempted to re-enter the house to call 911.

Firefighters tried to put out the flames but their hoses kept freezing in the -30C cold. The rectory was totally destroyed, leaving only a shell. The structure was expected to be demolished in the days after the fire because of safety concerns.

Mr. Garrett, who lives in the rectory alone, was expected to stay with friends and his parents during his recovery.


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