Cause of fatal fire under investigation

Andrew Robinson
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Police spend Sunday sifting through damaged home

As a man carried groceries into a home located near a house on McKay Street damaged by fire Saturday, he commented on how ordinary the day seemed a couple of hours earlier.
It was certainly not an ordinary day for residents of the St. John’s street. Saturday’s fire claimed the life of a man inside the home.

Firefighters battle a fire on McKay Street Saturday afternoon. Flames and smoke were pouring out of the home when they arrived. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

“Crews made a very quick entry, but they weren’t able to save the person that was inside,” said Supt. Derek Chafe of the St. John’s Regional Fire Department.

A woman who was in the home when the fire started managed to escape and was found in the middle of the street when fire crews arrived. She received treatment at the scene and was later sent to hospital.

According to Chafe, personnel had to help her before fire trucks could access McKay Street. He said there was a lot of fire and smoke visible from outside when firefighters arrived at 1:30 p.m.

Royal Newfoundland Constabulary fire investigators were combing through what remained of the extensively-damaged house Sunday.

The RNC confirmed in a news release Saturday the person killed in the fire was an adult male and that police would work with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the cause of death and confirm the victim’s identity.

Chafe said while it was not known as of Saturday where the fire originated.

Observation indicated it initially spread through the first floor before reaching others. He would not confirm where the body of the deceased man was found.

The house was attached on one side, but Chafe said the attached home sustained only minor smoke damage.

Firefighters did not encounter any problems accessing water to battle the fire, according to Chafe.

Newfoundland Power, paramedics and Canadian Red Cross personnel were also present at the scene Saturday.

Portions of McKay and Leslie Street were closed to traffic because of the fire.

Organizations: Newfoundland Power

Geographic location: McKay Street, Leslie Street

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