Text and photos by Joe Gibbons—The Telegram
Firefighters from four St. John's Regional Fire Department fire stations — Kenmount, West End, Central and Kent's Pond — were dispatched to a structure fire on the corner of Old Pennywell Road and Prospero Place in the city's north end around 12:15 a.m. today.
Upon arrival, crews from the Kenmount station were met with heavy fire and smoke issuing from the building, a Newfoundland and Labrador Housing unit that was under renovations. Neighbours at the scene said flames were as high as the light pole on the street near the home.
One area resident said she never saw anything like it, while another was heard saying he "had to run and close all the windows" in his house, due to the smoke.
The RNC had to close all roads in the area from pedestrian and vehicular traffic while firefighter crews quickly knocked down the fire. Some were able to avail of the scaffolding surrounding the home to climb it and ventilate the structure by cutting and chopping holes around the dwelling.
Once the bulk of the fire was knocked down, crews were able to enter and knock out plywood that was covering the windows around the home to ventilate the home from smoke. The unit was heavily damaged from the fire, especially the front of the home, which was completely charred from the flames.
The last of the firefighter crews left just before 1:30 a.m. this morning and the scene was then turned over to the RNC, to secure the area overnight until fire investigators can sift through the damage later today to detemine a possible cause of the fire.