BREAKING NEWS: Sinyard’s Pharmacy building in Harbour Grace evacuated, smoke-filled

Terry Roberts
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Madonna Rose (centre), pharmacist/owner at Sinyard's Pharmacy in Harbour Grace, is overcome with emotion Thursday morning as firefighters attempt get the upper hand on a fire at her business. At left is Pauline Hunt, while Lisa Randall is on the right. Both are pharmacy technicians.

A landmark business on Harvey Street in Harbour Grace that has been catering to the health and medical needs of area residents for many years is swarming with firefighters at this hour.

The nearly 40 year-old building located in the heart of the town is home to Sinyard’s Pharmacy and the Harbour Grace Medical Clinic.

At about 8:30 a.m. today (Feb. 14), employees detected an unusual odour in the building and quickly evacuated.

In short order, the building was filling with heat and smoke, and firefighters from Harbour Grace and Carbonear were on the scene.

The fire is now under control and smoke is being vented from the building, but efforts were continuing up to 10:30 a.m. to eliminate hot spots inside the walls that had been discovered by a thermal imaging device.

The busy street has been closed and the nearby Royal Garage vehicle dealership has been advised to curtail business for the remainder of the day, said Harbour Grace Chief Ray Verge.

The situation is especially troubling because the building accommodates the only pharmacy and medical clinic in the town, though sensitive medical records and a fully stocked pharmacy appears to have been protected.

The building is owned by Madonna Rose. She is also the pharmacist/owner of Sinyard’s Pharmacy, having purchased the prominent business from Rex Sinyard four years ago following his retirement.

Rose watched with tears in her eyes this morning as smoke poured from the building, but stated “we’ll be up and running again in no time.”

The medical clinic, meanwhile, is operated by two well-known doctors, Lonz Button and Gerald Power. Both have been tending to patients in the town for about four decades each.

“All we can do now is wait,” Dr. Button replied when asked what might become of the medical clinic.

Eight people are employed with the two businesses. Some eight patients were also in the medical clinic when the evacuation was ordered.

There were no injuries, though an ambulance was at the scene.

Chief Verge said it’s too early to tell what caused the fire.

For more comprehensive coverage, including additional photos, pick up a copy of the Feb. 19, 2013 print edition of The Compass.

Organizations: Harbour Grace Medical Clinic, Royal Garage, The Compass

Geographic location: Harvey Street

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Recent comments

  • brent newman
    February 15, 2013 - 02:48

    its a shame that this happened. I have fond memories of that place as a child. I find it ironic that 14 years ago today the Rock fall happened in upper island cove.. not a good valentines day that's for sure,

  • Ashley Forward
    February 14, 2013 - 15:34

    Heartbreaking & Tragic

  • John Peddle
    February 14, 2013 - 13:02

    I feel the pain of the people of Hr. Grace, I hope that Madonna Rose pharmacist/owner at Sinyard's Pharmacy and both of the doctors are able get get re-established soon. It was also good to read that there were no injuries, so at least that's a positive. The people in Hr. Grace deserve and need these services. In a situation like this the provincial goverment should step in and assist in getting the a new facility up and runnng as soon as possible. It's unacceptable that the people have to go outside their town for medical services. I remember the original Sinyard;s Pharmacy on Water Street and that it was a full service pharmacy with sundry items. My sympathy to the owner/pharmist, both doctors, all staff and most important to the people of Hr. Grace, I hope that a new or suitable replacement building is found soon.

  • Tanya lilly
    February 14, 2013 - 12:39

    So sad,

  • Tim Venters
    February 14, 2013 - 11:22

    Ann and I are so sorry to hear the news of the fire at Sinyard's Pharmacy. Thankfully it would appear no one has been hurt. We are thinking of you all today.

  • Coleen Flammia
    February 14, 2013 - 11:16

    This is devastating news, my heart goes out to the Owner of the building. It's going to make it that much more difficult for our towns people to have access to medical care. Hope there will be a make shift clinic placed some where in town as soon as possible taking into consideration the amount of seniors in our town.