Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
Firefighters from three stations brought a rooftop fire on Patrick Street in St. John's under control in 20 minutes this afternoon.
Firefighters arrived on the scene to find heavy smoke billowing from two adjoining three-storey houses, numbers 21 and 23, both with commercial businesses occupying the ground floors: Harris Photography at No. 21, and Wm. Browne Denture Clinic at No. 23.
St. John's Regional Fire Department Supt. Don Byrne said contractors on the roof of the Harris Photography building were working with a blowtorch while laying down roofing material when the fire spread into the eaves of the house.
"They were doing some torch-on roof work there on the residence (Harris Photography), and that spread to the other residence," said Byrne, who said firefighters battled the fire through the roof of the building.
"We did an interior attack through the ceiling because of the flat roof surface in that particular residence. It was just easier to get at the source of the fire."
Byrne said three stations responded, comprising of 17 firefighters, to the call just after noon today, and the fire was brought under control within 20 minutes. Other than the contractors on the roof of the Harris Photography building - all of whom got off the building safely - the buildings were unoccupied and no injuries were reported.
Byrne said it was too soon to estimate how much damage was done to the buildings, but added all the major damage was done to the roof and third-storey area of the two buildings, with some smoke damage down through the first and second floors.