• James Armstrong

Hudson’s Boutique NOVA holds fire sale in response to blaze set by arsonist


PHOTO BY TANIA ELLERBECK

Volunteer Janet Ellerbeck (above) surveys the remains of winter coats and dresses that suffered smoke and water damage during the early morning October 20 blaze that destroyed a shed behind 457 Main Road.

NOVA Hudson’s clothing boutique located at 455 Main Road was reopened Tuesday, October 23 following an early morning fire on Saturday, October 20 that destroyed an empty shed behind the adjacent building at 457 Main Road.

“We’re having a fire sale,” volunteer Janet Ellerbeck told The Journal.

Smoke damage to the contents of La Boutique NOVA that resells gently used donated clothing and accessories to raise funds for quality nursing care and support for patients and their families in the community made the sale necessary.

“It was a free-standing shed that was set on fire,” said Ellerbeck. “It was not attached to the building at the back of 457 Main Road.”

The fire damaged the back wall of that building used by the boutique as a storage facility.

“We lost all of the nice winter coats, ladies’ party dresses, and a collection of designer shoes for men,” she said adding, “We’re now looking for donations of winter clothing, especially coats and dresses for women.”

Hudson Fire Department

“We owe a huge ‘thank-you’ to the Hudson Fire Department,” said Ellerbeck. “They went out of their way to protect the contents of the building from fire, smoke, and water damage.”

Arson is suspected regarding the Saturday morning blaze according to Assistant Director of the Hudson Fire Department Daniel Leblanc.

“Once it becomes a suspicion of arson, we hand it over to the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and they finalize the investigation.” A jerrycan for gasoline was noticed close to the building and was considered part of the investigation, according to Leblanc. The call reporting the fire came in at 3:25 a.m. and minutes later, when the department arrived on the scene, the shed and rear wall of the building were in flames.

“We got the call from our dispatch saying that a passer-by had called it in,” said Leblanc, “But we don’t know who that was.”

Fortunately, the flames did not touch the two-floor NOVA building adjacent to the fire site. Vaudreuil-Dorion and Saint-Lazare fire departments also responded to the call. It took firefighters about 30 minutes to bring the fire under control.

“There were no injuries,” said Leblanc adding the investigation is now entirely in the hands of the SQ.

As of October 24, there were no new updates on the investigation.

PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

With SQ investigation tape barriers removed, retail life returns for Hudson’s La Boutique NOVA this week, thanks to the volunteers and the support of the community.

Community support

“The outpouring of support from the people of Hudson has been wonderful,” said Ellerbeck. “Thanks to Josée Bertrand, we have storage space across the street and Stirling Arts Boutique loaned us clothing racks,” she added.

On a brighter note, Ellerbeck reported the fire had no effect on the clothing for the up-coming fashion show fundraiser.

“Luckily, the models had already taken their outfits with them,” said Ellerbeck. The fashion show takes place at Whitlock Golf and Country Club, 128 Côte Saint-Charles, Hudson on Monday, October 29 and begins at noon. Besides the fashion show, the event features a three-course lunch, door prizes, a raffle table and the opportunity to purchase designer label silk scarves, handbags and jewelry at excellent prices. Tickets are $50 each and are available at La Boutique NOVA.

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