UPDATE: Oxfam building a 'massive loss,' N.L. representative says

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Published on September 04, 2013

— Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

Published on September 04, 2013

— Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

Published on September 04, 2013

— Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

Published on September 04, 2013

— Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

Published on September 04, 2013

— Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

Published on September 04, 2013

— Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

Published on September 04, 2013

Structure fire on Bates HIll in downtown St. John's. — Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

Published on September 04, 2013

A structure fire on Bates Hill at Duckworth Street in downtown St. John's. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

Published on September 04, 2013

— Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

Published on September 04, 2013

— Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

Published on September 04, 2013

— Smoke on Duckworth Street from fire. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

Published on September 04, 2013

Buildings can hardly be seen through heavy smoke from a fire at three buildings at the corner of Bates Hill and Duckworth Street in downtown St. John's. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

Published on September 04, 2013

Sign on nearby store window. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

Published on September 04, 2013

Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

Published on September 04, 2013

Hot dog vending carts have been removed from one of the buildings on fire at Bates Hill and Duckworth Street in downtown St. John's. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

Published on September 04, 2013

Hot dog vending carts have been removed from one of the buildings on fire at Bates Hill and Duckworth Street in downtown St. John's. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

Published on September 04, 2013

— Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

Published on September 04, 2013

— Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

Fire under control in downtown St. John's

Bill Hynd, an Oxfam campaign co-ordinator in Newfoundland and Labrador, says the loss of the "Food for Thought" building in downtown St. John's is a "massive loss" to the organization.

Hynd was clearly emotional when he showed up to view the damage to three buildings at the scene of a fire at the intersection of Bates Hill and Duckworth Street.

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The Oxfam building contained an archives with about 40 years of history, Hynd said.

All three buildings have been completely hollowed out by the blaze. The walls of one building that housed hot dog vending carts is bowing out and appears very unstable.

The fire is under control, though the three buildings involved will be lost. Firefighters are currently working to maintain control while pumping a lot of water on the burned structures.

Firemen say the buildings have been gutted and the exterior walls have become unstable. The buildings will have to be at least partially torn down for safety reasons.

Fire crews are on all sides of the structures and there is no threat to surrounding buildings as the fire is contained.

St. John’s Regional Fire Department crews will be on the scene for some hours yet.

•••

The RNC says some homes on New Gower Street were evacuated as a precaution from the nearby fire, and the heavy smoke moving in that direction, as the blaze continues in buildings at Bates Hilll at Duckworth Street today,

Also, businesses on Bates Hill have been evacuated.

The fire continues in the three buildings and firefighters are in an operational defence mode trying to prevent the flames from spreading to nearby buildings.

Powerful hoses have been pumping water into the buildings in whick the flames had been contained in walls and double roofs common in many older downtown buildings making the fire difficult to fight.

Power has been cut to the area and streets have been closed.

There are no injuries reported.

 •••

Deputy Chief of Operations Jerry Peach told reporters that firefighters have gone into an operationally defensive mode to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby buildings.

The fire is currently difficult to fight as flames are inside the walls and double roofs of the old structures that have been remodelled and renovated over the years.

Police and firemen have moved back a crowd of onlookers as flames and smoke can be seen coming from the buildings.

People in homes and buildings in the immediate area are voluntarily evacuating due to heavy smoke, threat of fire, power being cut and road closures.

Duckworth Street, New Gower Street, Bates Hill and other streets in the area are closed to traffic at this time.

 •••

Heavy smoke is blowing up Bates Hill from a fire in three buildings at the corner of Bates Hill and Duckworth Street in downtown St. John’s.

Firefighters are on the roofs of the buildings with chainsaws cutting access holes.

Scorch marks can be seen on the siding where electrical wires enter one of the buildings.

Siding is melted, roofs scorched and flames can be seen breaking out through the eaves and roof areas..

St. John’s Regional Fire Department is out in full force, with five trucks — ladder trucks and pumpers — at the scene.

The area of the Duckworth Street is blocked to traffic, and foam, ashes and water can be seen on the street.

Firefighters were successful in removing a number of hotdog machines with propane tanks from the ground floor of one of the buildings.

 

•••

(Earlier story)

Smoke and flames can be seen in three buildings at Bates Hill and Duckworth Street in downtown St. John’s.

One of the buildings housed hotdog carts used by vendors on George Street and other downtown areas.

Another building is owned by Oxfam.

There is no report of any injuries at this time or what may have caused the fire.

Members of the St. John’s Regional Fire Department are battling the blaze. At least three fire trucks are at the scene.

Windows have been broken in the buildings and smoke bellowing out. Some bystanders report hearing an explosion.

•••

A structure fire reportedly involving three buildings is in progress on Bates Hill at Duckworth Street in downtown St. John’s.

Firefighters from St. John’s Regional Fire Department are battling the blaze.

Smoke can be seen coming from the buldings.

 

More details to come.

•••

(Earlier story)

The St. John’s Regional Fire Department is on the scene of a possible structure fire on Bates Hill in downtown St. John’s.

More details to come.

Organizations: Regional Fire Department

Geographic location: Bates Hill

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • Renee
    September 04, 2013 - 18:48

    What a shame - so sorry to see that row go down. Note to Telegram - can you put times on your postings? It's nice to have updates throughout the dat, but you can't tell when these updates were reported or when it all started.

  • Richard
    September 04, 2013 - 17:28

    I am surprised that the hot dog cart building didn't go up earlier. I never trust those things they never look too clean or maintained. On the other hand, the sausage truck seems quite respectable.

  • Danny
    September 04, 2013 - 13:08

    Glad no one hurt..hope a nice new cIlub and drinkin hole opens there soon.

  • JasonD
    September 04, 2013 - 10:36

    That building for the Hot Dog Carts has been a rat-infested danger for a long time. That entire corner was pretty run-down. Glad no one was hurt, but like every fire in the DT area, some of these derelict buildings are not going to survive. Probably good that something better and safer can be put there.

  • Christine
    September 04, 2013 - 09:56

    Wow!! Those brave souls!! Can't pay our firefighters enough! God bless!