The RNC told reporters this afternoon that a preliminary report into the barn fire on the Back Line in the Goulds area of St. John's Monday indicates it was accidental.
The preliminary investigation into the second barn fire, the one on Ruby Line Monday night, is still ongoing.
More information to come.
Fire investigators today will be picking through the rubble of two barns destroyed by fire in the Goulds neighborhood of St. John’s.
Two structures were destroyed by fire Monday — one building on the Back Line and the other on Ruby Line.
Nine horses escaped from the first blaze, which was reported at about 10 a.m., but seven horses and three goats were killed in the second fire, which was reported at 10:35 p.m.
No people were injured in either incident.
In the first fire, which was on the Back Line, a neighbour alerted the property owners of smoke. They managed to get their animals to safety.
In the second incident, a motorist flagged down an RNC cruiser to report smoke coming from a barn on Ruby Line.
The RNC officer called 911 and then ran to the barn, which already had heavy smoke pouring out of it. They tried to open to the doors but they were locked.
Unable to get into the structure, the officer ran to wake the property owners. But, by the time they were able to get back to the barn, it was engulfed in flames. Nothing inside survived.
The RNC said today it’s pleading with the motorist who flagged down the officer to contact them. The motorist did not stick around the scene after the officer was informed of the smoke.
The RNC cautioned this morning that no evidence has been discovered to link the two fires. However, a spokesman with the constabulary said that police will know more once the fire investigators have had time to examine both properties.
As a precaution, officers were assigned throughout last night to check out other barns in the area.
Police are continuing to hold both scenes.
Firefighters were at the scene of a second major barn fire in Goulds late Monday night.
The barn, on Ruby Line, was fully engulfed in flames and burned to the ground. Firefighters struggled to ferry water to the scene, as there were no hydrants nearby.
Several horses and some goats were reportedly in the barn. None are known to have survived.
Earlier Monday, firefighters had been called to a separate barn fire in Goulds, and could not save the structure.
Before the charred remnants of Dennis Lambert’s barn had stopped burning Monday morning, the Goulds resident had already been inundated with offers from fellow horse lovers to billet his animals, which all survived.
The family’s barn, located behind their home on Back Line, was destroyed by the massive fire. Lambert told The Telegram his family was awoken Monday morning by a neighbour who spotted smoke and flames coming from the structure’s hayloft.
“We just ran in and got all the horses out. That was the main concern,” he said.
The barn was home to about nine racehorses and at least one dog.
All the animals got out safely and no people were injured.
Lambert added that the building was insured and that he’s received a lot of offers of help from friends and neighbours.
He appreciates it all, he said.
“The doors are open to us. … We won’t be stuck,” he said.
The fire broke out just before 10 a.m.
The RNC and fire inspector’s office are both continuing to investigate the cause of the blaze.
But whatever caused it, the resulting firestorm was challenging to put out, said Shift Supt. Derek Chafe of the St. John’s Regional Fire Department.
By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, flames were already shooting out of the building, he said, and the fire advanced quickly, fuel.ed by combustibles in the barn and high winds outside.
Crews also had to contend with a lack of water. The nearest fire hydrant was nearly a kilometre away, so two trucks took turns loading and unloading water.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, they were faced with a fire that was already pretty advanced, said Chafe, so they concentrated on saving the house, which is separated by the barn by a few feet.
The house escaped largely unscathed.