UPDATE: RNC say 11 dogs died in house fire

Andrew Robinson
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The number of dog deaths resulting from a fire at a residential home in Kilbride on Tuesday has increased from eight to 11.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said Wednesday that eight dogs and three puppies were found dead, while an additional two dogs remain unaccounted for.

Police are not treating the fire as suspicious and said the cause is believed to be electrical.

The St. John’s Regional Fire Department received a call from a neighbour of 22 Sinnott Place at  7:22 a.m. on Tuesday and had the fire under control by approximately 8 a.m. 

Supt. Derek Chafe told The Telegram on Tuesday that the home was undergoing renovations prior to the fire. 



Eight dogs are dead following a fire in Kilbride Tuesday morning.

The fire department received a call from a neighbour of 22 Sinnott Pl. at 7:22 a.m. informing them of a fire at a bungalow.

The home is on the corner of Sinnott Place intersecting Ireland Street.

Supt. Derek Chafe of the St. John’s Regional Fire Department described the dogs as “small, small dogs” weighing approximately 12 to 15 pounds.

The house was empty at the time of the fire.

Chafe said efforts to control the fire were affected by the fact renovations were taking place inside the home.

“We ran into a lot of problems in there with renovations and debris that was throughout the house,” he said.

“Crews had a really hard job of getting through the structure because of what was in there. There’s some parts of the house, because of renovations, we weren’t able to access because the structure wasn’t sound.”

Fire crews witnessed flames and smoke shooting up through the roof upon arrival, said Chafe, who added chainsaws were used to cut through the roof to aid with ventilation.

He said damage was mostly confined to the back of the home. Chafe said the fire was under control by approximately 8 a.m., with 15 firefighters responding.

Chafe said Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers from the identification section would take photos at the scene, after which humane services staff from the City of St. John’s were expected to remove the dogs.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary did not respond to an email requesting comment on whether it is investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the dogs.


— With files from Joe Gibbons




At least eight dogs are dead following a house fire in Kilbride Tuesday morning.

The fire department received a call shortly after 7 a.m. informing them of a fire at a single-storey bungalow on Sinnott Place intersecting Ireland Street.

Supt. Derek Chafe described the dogs as “small, small dogs,” adding the house was vacant at the time of the fire.

Chafe said efforts to control the fire were affected by the fact renovations were taking place inside the home.

“We ran into a lot of problems in there with renovations and debris that was throughout the house,” he said. “Crews had a really hard job of getting through the structure because of what was in there. There’s some parts of the house, because of renovations, we weren’t able to access because the structure wasn’t sound.”

Chafe said the fire was under control by approximately 8 a.m.

This story has been updated to fix typographical errors.

Organizations: Reginal Fire Department

Geographic location: St. John's

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Recent comments

  • Wanda
    March 23, 2012 - 09:49

    Anyone with a grain of common sense must realize that this situation is "not normal". Sure, we all leave our pets to go to work, or for whatever reason, for eight or nine hours, but this is entirely different. While this was is being renovated, it was vacant and due to renovations the structure was cluttered and dangerous. Also, animals have to do their bodily functions on a regular basis, so the house had to be stinking and messy. I don't understand why a neighbour didn't report this.

  • dontunderstand
    March 21, 2012 - 17:32

    So there were even more dogs and a few might be missing. Were they breeders? Someone mentioned they had dogs removed before. I'd also like to know how long were they left there? Where were the neighours? There were puppies so they were breeding dogs. Sounds like a small scale local puppy mill. The owner thinks there might two other dogs, doesn't know if they escaped or not, disgusting! This is really sad and I don't understand why there aren't laws protecting pets. There are always going to be people around who treat them bad. I won't get started tesabout my feelings about them. SPCA do your job.

  • Eileen
    March 21, 2012 - 13:08

    Don't judge without the facts. - March 21, 2012 at 12:42:28 I AGREE, WELL SAID.

  • Maggy Carter
    March 21, 2012 - 12:25

    We are witnessing a disturbing rise in extremism when it comes to the care of pets. This was reflected in the comments of Bob Buckingham in the aftermath of the Lovell trial. Buckingham acknowledged his client's guilt in failing to care for the cats but correctly pointed out that the public response (i.e. from pet owners) was way over the top. The shrill public outcry was at times greater than if she had caused the death of humans. People are appropriately urging an investigation into the care of these unfortunate dogs. But the comments of people like 'JP' are beyond the pale. Her(?) disappointment is that the prankster making phone calls to pet owners didn't die in the fire. Such comments could only come from an extremely disturbed individual. Time to seek professional counselling.

    • William
      March 21, 2012 - 12:36

      To all of you who have called this animal cruelty, neglegt, etc. I have to ask, have you NEVER left your pets unattended? If you try to tell me you have never left them unattended, I call bull! At some point we all have to work, run to the grocery, pay a bill, and I'm sure your cats and dogs don't go with you to the bank! This person is probably trying to grieve the loss of his pets. He probably loved them more than you love your own! So, before we have facts, do not judge!

    • JP
      March 21, 2012 - 14:45

      Maggie: I didn't say I wished that the prank caller died in the fire, I simply implied it. While I wouldn't wish that kind of death on anyone(perhaps I'd make an exception with those two in Ontario who kidnapped, raped and killed that young girl), I firmly believe the world would be a much better place if we didn't have sick, depraved individuals who got enjoyment out of someone else's misery. Call it wishful thinking when I spoke about it being too bad the prank caller was lost instead of those dogs. And no, I'm not a bleeding heart animal lover that values animals/pets over human life! I just can't stomach cold & heartless people feeding off of others misery! If this makes me extremely disturbed and in need of counselling, then so be it. We are all entitled to our opinions!

  • Danielle
    March 21, 2012 - 12:04

    What's going on with this province? It seems every single day there is a new case of animal neglect/cruelty being reported. and I do feel this is a case of animal neglect. First of all, what was this man doing with 13 dogs, and secondly, why would he leave them in an unsafe house under construction ? I hope this man realizes how irresponsible his actions are! If you can't look after 1 dog, you certainly can't look after 13!!!

  • Jenny
    March 21, 2012 - 11:34

    Everyone seems to be hung up on the vacant...my house is vacant every day from 6:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. because of our work/school schedules...my house is also being renovated, but I still live there as does my husband, our three children (two in college one in high school) and our two cats....however the number of animals in this situation does indeed raise questions.

  • Don't judge without the facts.
    March 21, 2012 - 11:02

    Don't judge without the facts. Perhaps these people were there everynight, but happened to leave early in the mornings to get to work. My job requires me to start at 6:30am, so my house is empty at 6:00. However, my dog and cat stay home alone. I imagine anyone else who works for a living wouldn't be allowed to bring there pets to work either. As for the number of animals, many people take in strays to care for them, or sometimes have had large amounts of puppies born to one mother. We should not judge someone we have never met or know anything about.

  • upset
    March 21, 2012 - 10:15

    I'm reading all these comments and thinking to myself, what if this had to happen to you? you lost your home, your pets... people shouldn't be so quick to judge, I mean come on.. if these people were renovating their home maybe they couldn't take the dogs with them? ... who knows... don't jump to conclusions

    • Stef
      March 21, 2012 - 11:00

      All due respect, but if you're renovating your home and you aren't living in it, then you should not be leaving your pets there. There are any number of things that can harm an animal in a home, especially when that kind of work is being done. It's irresponsible and an accident waiting to happen, and in this case it was the worst case scenario that happened.

  • Denise
    March 21, 2012 - 09:33

    As a pet owner, I have had the one occasion to leave my cat in a home alone that I was moving into the next day. I had, water, food, litter box and a radio. My last visit that night was around midnight, and I was back by 8 in the morning. I never slept that night because I was so worried about my cat. My questions in this sad situation is to the owners.... How long was this going on? How many days/night were these dogs left alone? How do you keep this many animals in your home? Talk about crazy cat ladies.... this one definetely should be investigated by the police and SPCA.... Something just doesn't sound right!

  • Peggy
    March 21, 2012 - 08:36


  • BI
    March 21, 2012 - 07:56

    This is definitely cruelty to animals. Where were the owners - they should have had someone with the dogs - was the place that was under renovation heated for the dogs; don't talk about Breeders Wendy - I know all about them. If a breeder is keeping dogs for shows, or just to breed, then they are no better than the criminals who hurt animals, as there is no love there - only satisfaction and gratification for the owners who show them. They are meant to be loved, not shown off like prizes. I know you say you love them too - then why put them through all the shows - do you think they love it. Not likely. Back to the vacant house - why isn't the SPCA investigating this cruelty and where is the legislation that protects these animals. Someone has to start doing something to protect these defenceless animals. If the owners loved them, then someone would have been with them, or they could have been put somewhere else with people, until the house was renovated. What a shame!

  • wendy
    March 20, 2012 - 21:02

    Wow some people are quick to judge others .I am a breeder of Mini American Eskimos and I foster unwanted puppies and dogs .Now put yourselfs in their shoes ,the dogs or puppies had a loving home and owners mainly because they wern't running a muck about the neighorhood .I applaude them if they didn't mean any harm to the dogs .Accidents do happen beyond any ones control BUT if it was not accidental I think they should be made accountable for what happened.I had a stillborn puppy in the last litter and I was devastaded to say the least .I can well imagin how these people are feeling loosing 8 :(

  • Jimmy
    March 20, 2012 - 19:33

    The toll is now 13 dogs and the SPCA aren't going to investigate??????

  • Jimmy
    March 20, 2012 - 19:18

    The SPCA have already been in there before and removed dogs....they obviously were not monitoring the situation.

  • dontunderstand
    March 20, 2012 - 19:05

    Dogs need to be with their family not left alone like that. They were likely cold and afraid. Imagine the fear they felt when they smelled smoke and started cry ing for their owners. It looks as though they were abandoned and this should be investigated. I'm lucky that my dogs are snuggled up next to me, safe and warm. Are there any politicians out there with a heart and backbone willing to take this on? There are a lot of pet lover voters out here.

  • Alice Apple
    March 20, 2012 - 15:54

    With eight to ten dogs on a property, should this require and "Kennel Licence?"

  • John Smith
    March 20, 2012 - 14:54

    Sharon,I for one care about all creatures in need and neglected. Human or otherwise.It said on another site that they were all small adult dogs weighing anywhere from 12-15 pounds each.Hardly puppies at all. Facts are facts and this is a disgusting situation.

  • Marg
    March 20, 2012 - 14:35

    How in the name of heavens can the owners love their pets and leave them alone barred up overnight in a structure in the midst of renovations and dangerous surroundings? They should definitely be charged with cruelty to animals. And why didn't any of the neighbours report this because this was probably done more than once, so they are also guilty. Surely, they must have heard barking. I hope they didn't suffer too long; poor helpless darlings.

  • Sharon
    March 20, 2012 - 14:05

    Since they are doing reno's maybe the family just didn't live there right now but were still taking care of the dogs.. maybe it was a female with pups and that's why there were so many. People are pretty quick to want to jump all over the owner about the pets.. I wonder if they feel as passionate about people who are in need.

  • John Smith
    March 20, 2012 - 12:41

    Cyndi, I read that info on another website,it may have been the CBC,not sure. The owner of the house said himself that he thinks two dogs escaped,he wasn't sure. Pretty pathetic situation.

  • David Prior.
    March 20, 2012 - 12:29

    There are many examples which show that organisations for the prevention of cruelty to animals, have no real teeth here or in any other country. If our Provincial Government spent more time in the House and considered legislation to protect animals, that desperately needs to be passed, we might get somewhere. Then matters can be also in the hands of the Law.

  • David
    March 20, 2012 - 11:58

    There's a word for keeping eight animals in an unoccupied building with an unfinished interior....it's called a barn.

  • John Smith
    March 20, 2012 - 11:33

    Bleeding heart there Cyndi? Actually it looks like there were 10 dogs in the house if two supposedly escaped. This type of a situation is a concern for anyone in the public with a conscience.From reading the article,it seems the owner isn't even sure how many dogs were packed into that death trap? Who keeps 10 dogs barred in a house??

    • Cyndi
      March 20, 2012 - 12:25

      How would you know there was two dogs that escaped?

  • Darrin
    March 20, 2012 - 11:26

    To have this many dogs in a household is unthinkable, or wait ...could this an unlicenced puppy house. Maybe.

  • Cyndi
    March 20, 2012 - 11:21

    Vacant at the time, does not mean, they don't live there. They were probably at work when the fire started. People shouldn't make such harsh judgements about other's concerns that are not their own. These people lost 8 dogs, and are probably dealing with enough hardships at this time, and to top it all off they have a damaged house. Lastly with regards to the dogs, how do we not know that these animals weren't 2 parents and 6 puppies? Thanks

  • John Smith
    March 20, 2012 - 10:55

    What kind of people leave 8 dogs alone,unattended in a vacant house?? Not very good or scrupulous people I'm sure. Sickening!

  • Dude
    March 20, 2012 - 10:39

    Silly....you are such a "knob"....look that up in the dictionary!

  • Sandy
    March 20, 2012 - 10:36

    What a sad day for those dogs this morning to have perished in a house fire.Slap the handcuffs on whoever owns those dogs.Dont get me started today because I am an animal lover .I have a dog of my own.

  • Ann Fitzpatrick
    March 20, 2012 - 10:24

    Why on earth would owners leave "beloved" family pets in a vacant house. This fire happened at 7 in the morning, that would indicate to me that those poor animals were left alone all night. If the owners are staying elsewhere why weren't their beloved pets with them? It could be because they have EIGHT pets and couldn't find any place to live where they would take EIGHT pets! Are there no bylaws around the number of pets per family? Either way this seems like a senseless loss to me. I have several dogs myself, and I can honestly say that leaving them in a vacant building while I went on with life as usual in another house would be unthinkable to me. To the owners: Shame on you.

    March 20, 2012 - 09:51


  • Anna
    March 20, 2012 - 09:29

    I really want to know what happened here, why were these dogs left in a house that is under rennovations? What are people doing with eight dogs?

  • silly
    March 20, 2012 - 09:25

    "unvacated" ..... hmm cant find that one in my dictionary.. the article says the house was vacant at the time... meaning no one was home!!

  • Rachell Meaney
    March 20, 2012 - 09:07

    I feel so sad for those poor defenseless dogs, but there should be an investigation. These people were in trouble with the SPCA and the city. I don't feel the dogs were properly cared for. The family has another home where they live....

  • JP
    March 20, 2012 - 08:24

    I agree with PLS - what a sad day! The loss of so many loved pets! We wouldn't be lucky enough for the person(s) who's making prank/cruel phone calls to owners with lost pets to have been the one lost in that fire!

  • PLS
    March 20, 2012 - 07:08

    OMG So sad to hear this. I know the home owner (and his pets). They are a great family who loved those animals dearly. Sorry to hear of your house and the loss of your family pets.

    • Animal Lover
      March 20, 2012 - 08:17

      What I don't understand is why six dogs were left alone in a house that was being renovated. I hope this incident was accidental.

    • JD
      March 20, 2012 - 08:21

      If the home was "vacant" by the owners while they were doing renovations, why would their animals be left there?? This is such a sad story.

    • mary
      March 20, 2012 - 08:53

      8 dogs in an unvacated house??? Another one for the SPCA.......