Nameless Heroes Fight Fire Along Highway 17 North


Late this afternoon black plumes of smoke billowed above the Agawa Bay shoreline. Arriving on scene, the Northern Hoot discovered the spirit of the North in action. It was serendipitous that a bridge maintenance crew, loaded with water and hoses on board, came across the roadside fire on Highway 17 at a former gas station – right across from the Agawa Bay Campground at Lake Superior Provincial Park. Also on scene were neighbouring residents bearing shovels and extra hands, Agawa Park staff, a firefighter passing through the area from Red Deer, Alberta – perhaps recovering from his fight in Fort McMurray and the OPP.

Given the dry conditions and the remoteness of the site, the potential for rampaging fire across the Boreal forest was quickly quenched by the expertise and heroism of Good Samaritans who preferred to remain nameless.

The remote area, about an hour and a half north of Sault Ste. Marie and  fifty minutes south of Wawa, are already vulnerable to natural threats due to the proximity to emergency services. But the presence of an abandoned and decrepit eyesore has provided a site ripe for vandalism and ongoing concern.

As a helicopter circled overhead and fire crews from nearby districts raced to the scene and the fire now conquered, the men of the bridge maintenance crew- a team of seven or so, ducked their heads and avoided recognition when approached for comment.

To those men, thank you for pulling over and giving a damn.










(feature image courtesy of Bob Kohrman)



Editor’s Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of the Northern Hoot, but only of the comment writer. Personal attacks, offensive language and unsubstantiated allegations are not allowed. Please keep comments on topic. For more information on our commenting policies, please see our Terms of Use. If you see a typo or error on our site, report it to us. Please include a link to the story where you spotted the error.

  • jim

    That place as well as the former Pruces Hotel in Hayden are really eyesores. Too bad that when arson is suspected buildings remain for years creating even more problems and very bad impressions of our Canadian North. I too was up but not that far up this time and was about to send a harsh word or two about all the garbage along the highway especially right across the road from this abandoned building and of all the so called rest stops. I thought the garbage bins were actually there even in the winter but realized about a month ago after seeing the garbage left behind and bags ripped open that in fact the bins were not there but some lazy unconsidered pricks still choose to leave garbage there. I went up Monday no bins. returned today Wed and shiny new bins in place but I guess that the guys that placed them, it was not their job description to pick the loose broken bags? Good job fellows in putting out this fire. Now if we can some people to pick up the garbage?

  • Sabrina Cappellani- Langlois

    This building you see belongs to me! I live in southern Ontario, I received this property by court order for 18 years unpaid child support from the dead beat dad that owned it, when he was able to pay for all these years. Originally I first got it, I had arrange a full crew to totally gut and bring back to life this property, but the dad decided to appeal his property and business loss to the Supreme courts where we battled for a year! And of course he lost there too and within a month all buildings were set on fire! Go figure, a little revenge perhaps. And through the grape vine I was told if I ever started anything on this property it would be burned as well! So these fires come along with ownership of this property! On both occasions I was working 12 hour shifts as an RN in high risk labour and delivering helping families bring life into this world! If anyone wants to buy it! Just call me! I’m more than happy to sell this one and only private commercial property in the Lake Superior Provincial Park! 519-730-0887……..and thankyou kindly for those who took part in putting out the fire as it was very heroic of you all