Mount Pearl home burns hours after police standoff

Former HMP prison riot participant Justin Wiseman is in custody following a standoff that lasted over six hours on Tuesday.

Justin Wiseman arrested at home just before 7 p.m. after RNC officers noticed fire inside

Crews with St. John's Regional Fire Department had the flames under control by 10 p.m. (Andrew Sampson/CBC)

A home on Jersey Avenue in Mount Pearl that was the scene of a police standoff on Tuesday caught fire hours after the standoff ended.

The home at 17 Jersey Ave. was engulfed in flames by 9:30 p.m.

Fire engulfs 17 Jersey Avenue in Mount Pearl Tuesday night, hours after a police standoff had ended at the same address. (Fred Hutton/CBC)

Just two hours earlier, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary's tactical response team had forced its way in the home to arrest Justin Wiseman, who had refused to give himself up to police for hours.

Sections of the front and roof of the house appeared to be severely damaged by the flames. By 10 p.m., the fire was under control.

Police said following Wiseman's arrest that officers made the decision to storm the home after noticing a fire had been started. It's not clear if that original fire is related to the one that destroyed the home hours later.

Police carry Justin Wiseman from the Jersey Avenue home that was the scene of Tuesday's standoff. (Submitted photo)

A tactical team had been surrounding the home that Wiseman — who helped instigate a 2014 riot at Her Majesty's Penitentiary in St. John's — was holed up in since around noon Tuesday.

Members of the RNC's tactical response unit just before entering the house and arresting Wiseman. Smoke can be seen coming from the front of the house, and the RNC reported that a fire had been started in the home around that time. (Submitted photo)

The standoff finally ended with police forcing their way into the home and removing Wiseman and placing him into custody just before 7 p.m.

"Ultimately our officers did have to force their way into the home when it came to our attention that a fire had been started inside the home," said RNC spokesman Geoff Higdon.

Wiseman suffered some minor injuries during the ordeal and was taken from the scene in an ambulance.

Justin Wiseman is carried away on a stretcher following a seven-hour standoff in Mount Pearl on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)

About an hour before Wiseman's arrest, a woman agreed to leave the home about six hours into the standoff.

The RNC say two other women also at the home earlier in the afternoon but left peacefully. Neighbours said the stalemate between police and the occupants began around noon.

Higdon said police were first called to the area after reports that a wanted man was in the area. Once officers arrived and realized Wiseman was in the house with other people, measures were taken to negotiate with him rather than storm the home in the interest of public safety and the safety of those inside.

Shortly before 4 p.m., Wiseman could be seen waving his arm from the front door, refusing to come out. 

One officer was overheard yelling, "Come out and be a man of your word." 

Not 1st run-in with the law

It's not the first time Wiseman has been been involved in a standoff.

In 2013, while suspected of an armed robbery, he barred himself inside a house on Springdale Street in St. John's.

Justin Wiseman had been refusing to present himself to the RNC. (Submitted)

Wiseman gained further notoriety in 2014 for his role in the HMP chapel riot.

He was seen on video pummelling Kenny Green and later pleaded guilty and was convicted in the incident.

People in the Mount Pearl neighbourhood said Wiseman moved into Jersey Avenue at the beginning of March. 

The RNC could not confirm if Wiseman's arrest is connected to an armed robbery earlier in the day.

With files from Terry Roberts