A section of Duckworth Street in downtown St. John's is staying closed until next week because of safety concerns connected to a fire that destroyed three buildings on Sept. 4.

The Atlantic Canada office of Oxfam Canada, the Food For Thought store, and a space that was being converted for the retailer Our Pleasure were affected. 

The section of Duckworth Street from New Gower Street to McBride's Hill has remained closed to facilitate the fire investigation, inspections by the city as well as insurance companies, and a massive cleanup effort.

Councillor Danny Breen said the road and sidewalk will not re-open until the buildings are demolished, adding there could be an issue with a retaining wall behind one of the buildings.


St. John's city councillor Danny Breen. (CBC)

"Taking the building out may disturb the integrity of the retaining wall, so we have some engineers having a look at that today [Thursday] and hope to be able to fix that up, shore it up, so that won't be an issue," Breen said.

Breen added that during the inspection process, asbestos siding was found on the buildings.

A company equipped to complete asbestos abatement will complete the removal and disposal of the siding.

Breen is hopeful that the section of Duckworth Street can re-open sometime next week.