St. John's thrift store damaged by late night fire

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Firefighters from four stations of the St. John’s Regional Fire Department (SJRFD) were called to fight a structure fire at the Salvation Army Thrift Store at 51 Kenmount Rd.

“Crews were met with a large debris fire on the back exterior of the building and it was able to make its way inside the exterior walls,” said Shift-Supt. Derek Chafe at 1:30 a.m.

Newfoundland Power crews were called in to cut the power to the building as at times visible fire was seen coming through the power supply accompanied by dark smoke.

Aside from Kenmount fire station crews and apparatuses from the Central, West End and Kent's Pond fire stations also responded to fight the fire. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) and Eastern Health paramedics responded as well. “Right now, our main hinderance to be able to get at the fire is the metal siding as our firefighters have to use all their efforts to cut away the exterior siding as well as the metal on the eaves to get at the fire. So right now we seem to have the upper hand on the situation and all appears to be under control.”

Chafe was speaking from the parking lot of the Thrift  Store as fire crews in the background were visible through the pockets of smoke cutting holes and spraying water into the roof and through the exterior wall, once enough holes had been cut in the building.

“The fire is contained to that corner of the building," said Chafe motioning to the area where firefighters were at work, “And they were able to contain it in that area and prevent it from spreading any further ….. thank God.”

An RNC officer was parked facing the main entrance of the building to keeping watch as a smoke eater fan exhausted the lingering smoke from the two larger exterior doors that opened to Kenmount Road. No injuries were reported to any of the firefighters and the firer was declared out at 2:30 a.m. this morning. All crews had left the scene just past 3:15 a.m,  just over three hours from the initial call.

RNC fire investigator Const. Wayne James was on the scene for a brief period, but officers are expected to arrive there this morning to investigate the cause of the fire. As crews were at this fire scene, firefighters from the Brookfield Fire station were dispatched to Wal-Mart on Topsail Road around 2:30 a.m. to extinguish a large dumpster fire there.

The RNC is investigating these incidents.

Geographic location: St. John's

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  • I wonder
    July 04, 2013 - 09:17

    At that time of the morning, it is not 10 year olds playing with matches. It is older kids that like to see fires or it is somebody that wants to divert the RNC's attention while they are up to no good somewhere else. Stores need to properly lock the dumpsters. I don't mean a $2 lock on a chain that can be cut with cheap bolt cutters. They need a good lock or place the dumpster so that it is not accessable.