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Firefighters called to downtown house fire

Firefighters at the scene of a house fire Friday night on the corner of Springdale and New Gower streets in St. John’s.
Firefighters at the scene of a house fire Friday night on the corner of Springdale and New Gower streets in St. John’s. - Joe Gibbons

Crews from several St. John's Regional Fire Department (SJRFD) stations were dispatched to a structure fire on the corner of Springdale and New Gower streets in downtown St. Johns over the supper hour on Friday.

Upon arrival, the first crew from the Central Fire Station was met with heavy smoke issuing from the middle structure of the three attached and vacant boarded up housing unit which has been in disarray for the past number of years and is currently for sale.

Firefighters used chainsaws to cut away the plywood covering the doorways of the three-story structures.

There wasnt any visible fire to be seen on the outside, as crews maintained it inside the building and a mixture of water and foam was used to soak the dwellings as crews worked inside. A number of pigeons were flying out from the southern end of the home through smashed windows, and others could be seen flying around inside the south unit trying to escape the smoke and water.

With the central station Truck 1 ladder extended to the roof, crews used chainsaws on the roof to ventilate the structure from smoke to allow for better visibility for crews inside the buildings.

The RNC were on the scene for traffic control, as the road was closed from New Gower Street to Water Street as firefighters worked at the scene. Eastern Health paramedics also attended the fire and remained on standby in case they were needed, but their services were not required.

Firefighters also had to contend with a fire at the same three homes on Good Friday of this year, on the afternoon of Friday, March 30. That fire was deemed suspicious at the time.

There were no power connections to the vacant homes on Friday night and the cause of the fire has been left to the RNC fire investigation unit to look into.

No injuries were reported and crews left the scene around 8:30 p.m., a few hours after the initial call just after 6 p.m., following several calls to 911.

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