Volunteer firefighters save cabin, antiques and heirlooms


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When Nicole Grigorov saw smoke billowing from her chalet on Wednesday morning, she thought it was a theft.

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The log cabin, built in the 1970s and located on his property at the Mattawa River Resort and Cardinal Restaurant, caught fire when contractors started up the old wood stove.

But she credits a team of volunteer firefighters from Calvin and Papineau-Cameron for saving the building and the antiques and heirlooms stored inside.

“I was in the restaurant when the fire started,” Grigorov said. “My sister-in-law contacted me to tell me the news and I immediately drove to the cabin and saw the roof in smoke.

“I was devastated. I thought it was going to go up like a matchbox, but they (the volunteer firefighters) came so quickly and used the water from the nearby pond to put out the blaze.

She said another fire broke out in another section of the cabin, but firefighters were able to extinguish it immediately.

Grigorov said she needs to move into the cabin and has done renovations for thousands of dollars.

It was also the only cabin she didn’t have insurance for, as it hadn’t been renovated yet.

Grigorov said she told her husband they should add the building to the policy now that it is being renovated and electricity and water are being installed.

But she ran out of time.

Fortunately, the fire only damaged the roof and the trusses.

“You come in and you can’t even tell there was a fire,” Grigorov said.

She said there were no thanks that could reward how grateful she is.

“They saved my chalet. I want to make them all a lasagna dinner to show my gratitude. It was one bad thing after another.

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Grigorov has said since moving to Mattawa in 2017, she has suffered a series of bad luck.

“I had no choice but to make lemons with lemonade,” she said. “First it was the floods, then the smoke from the forest fires, then there was COVID-19 and the closures, then the vaccine passports and now a fire. “

In the spring of 2019, Grigorov, along with hundreds of other residents of Mattawa, were affected by flooding in the area. A state of emergency was declared, schoolchildren helped sandbag properties and businesses, and a 10-apartment building had to be evacuated.

Grigorov said all of his reservations were canceled this spring and summer.

She used her complex to help people who had to evacuate their homes due to rising waters.


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