ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The man who lives at 82 Carrick Dr. in St. John’s looked shaken as he stood across the street Wednesday morning watching firefighters rip the inside of his home apart.
“It’s all hard to take in right now,” said the man, who didn’t give his name.
Eight hours before, he and his family, including two children, had to rush out of the house at around 2 a.m. after it caught fire.
He said they were suddenly awakened by a person driving by who had stopped when he saw the fire and alerted them.
“I just thank God we all made it out OK,” the man said, shaking his head.
It was the second fire at that house in five days.
Firefighters and police were called there early Saturday morning when someone apparently tried to set fire to it.
When members of the St. John’s Regional Fire Department arrived on scene at about 3:30 that morning, they found the side of the house ablaze, with siding burnt from the front corner to a side window well. They quickly extinguished the flames but not before the side of the house sustained damage.
This time, there was much more damage, with the entire left side of the house burned, and water damage inside.
Several firefighters were dragging mounds of insulation out of the split-level house at around 10 a.m. Wednesday. One firefighter climbed a ladder and used an axe to break through the side of the house to get inside the attic.
When asked about seemingly having his house targeted twice in two weeks, the man chose not to comment.
“I really don’t know anything. Police are investigating. That’s all I can say,” he said before walking to his car and driving away.
About a half a dozen people, including some neighbours, had gathered to watch the activity.
“It was definitely targeted,” one neighbour said.
Geoff Harding, who lives two doors down, said he woke up at around 2 a.m. when he heard yelling from someone in a vehicle across the street.
“This is not good,” said Harding, who didn’t know the homeowners, but said the house had been for sale a short time ago.
“This is usually a quiet neighbourhood. I’m nervous that they might move on to one of our houses now. ... There’s something definitely on the go.”
As he spoke, Lt.-Gov. Frank Fagan was seen leaving a house on Sheffield Place, the street behind the burned house.
“It’s certainly concerning,” Fagan said before getting in his car and driving away.
Minutes later, his wife, Patricia Fagan, arrived and was escorted inside the house by RNC Const. Robert Allen. She stayed about 20 minutes before leaving.
“They own that house,” Harding said, referring to the Fagans’ property. “He just had new siding put on, too.”
Allen would not discuss details of the fire with The Telegram, but said, “It’s definitely unusual. Anytime we see two fires like this in one week, it’s concerning.”
He added, “It’s been a very busy week for fires.”
An elderly man was killed in a house fire that broke out early Tuesday morning on Mount Scio Road.
No one was injured in the fire on Carrick Drive.
Wearing a hardhat and rubber boots and carrying a clipboard, Allen could be seen knocking on neighbours’ doors.
The cause of the fire won’t be determined until the investigation is complete.
With files from Keith Gosse of The Telegram