The Great Fire of 1908
In the end of September 1908, following a several-week drought, a major fire started. It spread from Ditchfield region (Frontenac) to Spalding region (Audet) and reached the Maine border. Pushed by the Southern wind, the fire devastated Sainte-Agnès area. A number of houses were destroyed along with the Methodist Church. On September 28, women and children were evacuated by train to Scotstown, Sainte-Cécile-de-Whitton and Nantes. Fortunately, the rain started to pour on September 29, 1908, which put out the fire.
It is said that the Anglican Church’s pastor Gumbier Fuller bought all of the hoses available when the fire became more threatening. He would have hosed down his church and vicarage day and night until the danger had passed. He systematically refused to give hoses to his neighbours, continuing to hose down his church relentlessly.
After the fire, a number of members from his community, unhappy with his attitude, became parishioners of the St-Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on rue Frontenac in Lac-Mégantic.