Busy night for police, fire departments as 2011 arrives

Daniel MacEachern
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Firefighters responded to a house fire on Alderberry Lane early this morning. No one was injured, but heavy fire and smoke damage was done to the single-family residence. Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Fireworks, fires and parties made for a busy New Year’s Eve and morning for St. John’s police and fire departments.

Two structural fires early this morning kept the fire department on their toes.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary is investigating the cause of a fire that heavily damaged the first floor of a house on Alderberry Lane around 1 a.m., said St. John’s Regional Fire Department Supt. Don Byrne. “All residents had evacuated the premises prior to our arrival,” said Byrne. There were no injuries in the fire, which took about 20 minutes to bring under control.

Food left unattended caused a minor fire in a house on Larkhall Street around 4 a.m., sending the two occupants to the Health Sciences Centre to be treated for smoke inhalation. Both residents were later released.

Byrne said the night kept the fire department hopping.

“It was a really busy night. It started just after 11:30, and pretty much every station had been out at least once or twice or involved in some sort of fire by the time 4:30, 5 o’clock rolled around,” he said. “The others were of minor nature, but still of consequence so that everything was rolling.”

In Paradise, some residue from fireworks landed on the roof of a house. “That residue itself was smouldering. It didn’t actually catch fire to the roof; it looked a lot worse than it was,” said Byrne.

It was also busy night for the RNC, with more than 200 calls over a 24-hour period ending this morning, but that’s routine for New Year’s, said Sgt. Rick Thorne.

“That’s pretty well New Year’s. That sounds about right,” said Thorne. “Sometimes people complain about fireworks, parties. Sometimes you get parties a little out of control and you drop by and see them, that kind of thing. That’s all. Pretty routine for us on a New Year’s. Sometimes downtown you get people acting up a bit.”

One of the more serious incidents was an accident on Eastaff Street that resulted in impaired driving charges, after a car struck and dragged a light pole for several feet.

Organizations: Regional Fire Department

Geographic location: Larkhall Street, Paradise, Eastaff Street

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