structure fire

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.

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.

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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