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Heritage building destroyed by overnight fire

A well-known heritage building in the east end of St. John’s was destroyed by fire overnight.

Fire crews responded to Bryn Mawr, also known as Baird’s Cottage, shortly before 3:00 a.m. Friday morning. Mike Hall, Platoon Chief with the St. John’s Regional Fire Department (SJRFD) said they were alerted to the blaze by a passing taxi driver, who noticed smoke coming from the boarded-up structure.

When crews from nearby Kent’s Pond Fire Station arrived at the scene, located at 154 New Cove Road, they were met with heavy fire coming from the vacant building. Given the amount of fire present, crews were forced to take a defensive approach. At times, firefighters could be seen hosing down the roofs of homes across the street, as large flankers filled the sky and fell to the ground below.

Over twenty firefighters from three stations responded to the fire, pouring water onto the blaze in an effort to douse the flames. It took over an hour to bring the fire under control. The building was a complete loss, having been leveled to its foundation.

Baird’s Cottage, built in 1907, has been the subject of a public battle both in and out of the courts in recent years. It was recognized by Heritage Newfoundland and Labrador as a registered heritage structure in 1993, and similarly recognized by the City of St. John’s in 2016. Regulations surrounding its heritage status have halted proposed development of the land, placing the property in limbo. Despite the attempts of several interest groups to safe the building, the 115-year-old home remained abandoned and shuttered.

New Cove Road remained closed for several hours as crews battled the fire and cleared from the scene. An investigation into the cause of the blaze is ongoing.

Video from the scene of a fire that destoyed a 115-year-old heritage structure in St. John’s.
SJRFD Platoon Chief Mike Hall speaks at the scene of a fire on New Cove Road.

Updated: One sent to hospital following pair of crashes Wednesday evening

A pair of collisions Wednesday evening resulted in considerable damage to the vehicles involved, and sent one person to hospital.

Emergency crews were summoned to the intersection of Prince Philip Drive and Allandale Road shortly after 7:00 p.m.. The crash, which caused significant damage to both vehicles, forced the closure of multiple lanes of traffic as personnel worked. Paramedics assessed multiple occupants of the two vehicles, taking one person to hospital with injuries not believed to be serious in nature. Traffic was slowed for close to an hour as the scene was cleared.

Shortly after 10:30 p.m. the driver of an eastbound SUV struck a pair of parked vehicles on Blackmarsh Road near Domino’s Pizza. The force of the crash tore the front wheel from the SUV, and left all three vehicles involved with considerable damage. The driver of the SUV was assessed at the scene by paramedics, but was not taken to hospital.

Collision in Mount Pearl results in no injuries

There were no injuries reported following a two-vehicle collision in Mount Pearl on Saturday evening.

Crews were called to the intersection of Old Placentia Road and Richard Nolan Drive at about 8:45 p.m. following the crash, which left two vehicles significantly damaged. The occupants of both vehicles were assessed by paramedics, but did not require transport to hospital.

Traffic was slowed in the area until the scene could be cleared. First responders’ duties were complicated by motorists attempting to drive through the scene despite the presence of emergency vehicles and safety cones blocking lanes of travel.

Two sent to hospital following night-time collisions

Two people were taken to hospital following two separate incidents on the roads in St. John’s on Saturday night.

At about 10:30 p.m. emergency crews responded to a collision on Elizabeth Avenue at Paton Street. The driver of an eastbound vehicle struck a pedestrian who was crossing the road near the intersection. The pedestrian was taken to hospital with injuries that were described as non life-threatening. The force of the collision caused damage to the front end of the car and to its windshield.

Around midnight crews were summoned to the Outer Ring Road following a single-vehicle crash. The driver of an eastbound vehicle lost control of their car near the Aberdeen Avenue exit. The car entered the ditch and struck a mound of rocks, causing significant damage to the vehicle. The driver was taken to hospital with injuries not believed to be serious. Roads were wet in heavy wind and rain at the time of the crash.

Goulds home destroyed by fire

A home in Goulds was completely destroyed by fire late Sunday morning.

St. John’s Regional Fire Department (SJRFD) first received a 911 call at about 10:20 a.m. from the resident of a home on Thistle Place, off Donovan’s Road in Goulds.  Several subsequent calls from area residents quickly followed, with thick black smoke billowing into the sky being visible from several kilometres away.

SJRFD Acting Platoon Chief Ed Sears said that when crews with the Goulds Volunteer Fire Department (GVFD) first arrived on the scene eleven minutes later the two-storey wooden home was fully involved with fire. Flames were coming from all four sides of the structure, and also from the roof. All the residents of the home were able to escape the blaze. One of whom was treated on the scene for smoke inhalation, however it’s unknown if they were taken to hospital.

Given the heavy fire upon arrival, firefighters were forced to attack the inferno from outside.  Crews spent considerable time trying to protect two neighbouring homes from the heat of the blaze.  One adjacent home is reported to have suffered minor damage.

Because there are no fire hydrants in the area, firefighters had to draft water from nearby Second Pond and pump it to the fire scene.¬† Once a reliable water source was established crews used a master stream from atop an engine to finally douse the flames. ¬†With large flankers and ash falling in the area, police closed Donovan’s Road in the immediate area to restrict access of curious onlookers and to allow crews space to work.

Firefighters were on the scene into the afternoon mopping up hot spots in the smouldering remains of the home.  The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary is investigating.

Video from the scene of a fire that destroyed a home on Thistle Place in Goulds.

Fire causes serious damage to downtown apartment

An evening fire caused serious damage to one downtown apartment on Monday.

Emergency crews were called to the west end of Water Street at about 7:30 p.m. after a passerby noticed smoke coming from the second-storey window of a home. When firefighters arrived on scene they discovered fire in the bedroom of an upstairs apartment. No one was home at the time, and crews were able to quickly knock down the bulk of the fire.

An occupant of the downstairs apartment evacuated the residence as crews fought the blaze. The fire caused significant damage to the upstairs unit, while the downstairs apartment sustained some smoke and water damage.

Water Street was closed west of Leslie Street as personnel worked. After fighting the fire for a little over an hour the scene was left with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary for investigation.

Video from the scene of a residential fire on Water Street.

Multiple crashes keep crews busy and send two to hospital

Emergency crews were kept busy in St. John’s Sunday evening responding to three motor vehicle crashes in a little over an hour’s time.

The first occurred at the intersection of Prince Philip Drive and Allandale Road, one of St. John’s’ most dangerous intersections. Crews were called shortly after 7:30 p.m. and arrived to find two vehicles with significant damage following a t-bone collision. Paramedics assessed the occupants of both vehicles, however there were no injuries reported. Traffic was slowed in the area for over half an hour as the scene was cleared.

A second crash happened only minutes after the first. Crews responded to Heavy Tree Road, where it meets Robert E. Howlett Memorial Drive, following a t-bone collision that caused extensive damage to the two vehicles involved. Paramedics took two people to hospital, including a child, both as a precautionary measure.

Shortly after 8:30 p.m. emergency personnel were called to the Team Gushue Highway following a single-vehicle crash. The incident happened in the northbound lanes of the highway at the exit to Brier Avenue. The driver of a sedan lost control of the vehicle, causing it to leave the roadway. A lengthy skid mark could be seen on the road, leading to where the car left the highway. The vehicle came to a stop on an embankment approximately 25 metres from where it left the shoulder. There were no injuries reported.

Scenes from three separate motor vehicle crashes in St. John’s

Collisions cause significant damage, but result in no injuries

There were no injuries to reports, however four vehicles were extensively damaged following two separate collisions in St. John’s on Saturday night.

The first occurred at the intersection of Hamilton Avenue and Shaw Street, at about 9:45 p.m.. That crash damaged the front ends of two vehicles, while a third suffered minor damage. Paramedics assessed the occupants of those vehicles, however no one requested to be taken to hospital.

Roughly ten minutes later emergency crews were called to a second collision, at the intersection of Old Pennywell Road and Brier Avenue. Two vehicles had collided in a t-bone collision, which caused significant damage to both vehicles. Paramedics arrived to assess the occupants of both cars, but were not required to take anyone to hospital.

Roads were dark in heavy rain at the time of both collisions.

Kitchen fire injures resident, causes significant damage to west-end home

A kitchen fire caused significant damage to a home on Albany Street Sunday evening, and injured a resident who was home at the time.

Firefighters were called to the two-unit home shortly after 5:00 p.m. and arrived to find the kitchen of an upstairs apartment on fire. Crews deployed an attack line and quickly brought the fire under control. The kitchen suffered quite a bit of fire damage, with other parts of the home suffering smoke and water damage.

A resident who was home at the time reportedly suffered burns and some smoke inhalation. Paramedics tended to the individual. It’s unknown if they were transported to hospital.

After working for roughly an hour the fire department turned the scene over to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary for investigation.

Video from the scene of a kitchen fire on Albany Street (Earl Noble / NTV News)

Centre-city auto shop damaged by suspicious fire

A suspicious fire damaged a centre-city auto shop on Sunday evening.

Fire crews were called to Freshwater Auto on Freshwater Road at about 7:15 p.m. Sunday evening. When firefighters first arrived they found smoke billowing from the rear of the garage. Crews found a pile of tires on fire next to the rear wall of the structure.

St. John’s Regional Fire Department Platoon Chief Dean Foley stated crews made quick work of the bulk of the fire, however there was some extension into the insulation of the exterior wall. Firefighters used saws to cut through the metal cladding on the wall to access the remaining flames, and poured water down the wall from the roof to douse any remaining hot spots.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary is investigating.

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