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Historic Building Burns in Bryson, Quebec

Louise St Laurent

By Louise St Laurent

Tragedy hits Bryson in the New Year

History and New Beginnings go up in flames and smoke.
On January 10, 2014 around 3:30 pm Café Canusa and the Bryson Theatre went up in smoke and flames. Suzanne Romain was sitting in her back room of her café when she saw black smoke coming from the walk way that leads between the café and theater. She yelled to her husband and son fire and ran outside where bystanders had called 911. The BGCP fire arrived within minutes and worked through the night to put out the fire. Around 5 hours later the fire was out but the building was still smoldering and it is going to be a long night for the firemen checking for hot spots and finding the cause. Suzanne has no idea how the fire started, “I just hope that some of our stuff will be saved.”
Betty Anne Ranger who Uncle Ronald Coyne owned the Bryson Theater back in 1952 and was passed down through generations said “it is history going up in smoke and it hurts so much to watch this happen”
Suzanne and her husband Tom are more than grateful to the BGCP and the Campbell’s Bay fire department “without the Campbell’s fire department and their new ladder it would have been all gone, my hat goes off to them all of the firemen and the community for all the help”
The CWL and the Bryson Lions came together and open the church basement to serve the firemen lunch and hot coffee and to get dry and some rest. The firemen were coming in 6 at a time and taking turns for breaks and warming. “We are all here to help, this is one of our last landmarks in Bryson that is left and the whole community is deeply saddened about this , but we have a great fire department and great surrounding fire departments helping us out”
The community rallied and brought food and cookies for the firemen. As the lunch was going on the firemen were bringing in clothes and personal belongs to Suzanne and her husband Tom, such as clothes. Suzanne’s husband Tom who was wearing pj bottoms jokingly said after the firemen brought him pants “you have some pants now hunny” “we can always rebuild” she says holding her head up high.
The fire started in the Theatre and the cause was not known at the time of the fire. There were rumors going around that the propane tank exploded but the fire Chief Gerald Stewart would not comment and said only that they would know more tomorrow when they could investigate. Campbell’s Bay fire depart was called in shortly after the fire broke out, cause they have a ladder fire truck.
Madame L’Ecuyer came down to investigate I scene she said “it is sad they are a young family that just bought the building and renovated, it’s is great what the fire department are doing they are here all night and that is awesome, the community will get together and help this is what we do around here.”
The Bryson community is saddened over the loss of the only historic building left in Bryson. Perry Kluke who wrote 3 books on the history of Bryson, remembers going to the theatre when he was a boy and seeing his first movie there which was Elvis Presley Love Me Tender. “We lost a piece of history”

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