New Brunswick

Fire forces evacuation of nearby apartment building in Saint John

An apartment building in the south end was evacuated on Thursday night while firefighters worked to put out a fire at two vacant wooden-frame buildings on Charlotte Street.

Firefighters believe the fire that broke out on Thursday night was suspicious

Crews responded to reports of a fire at 289-291 Charlotte St., at the corner of St. James Street at around 7:30 on Thursday night. (CP)

An apartment building in the south end of Saint John was evacuated after a fire broke out at two nearby vacant buildings on Thursday evening.

Firefighters responded to a structure fire at 289-291 Charlotte St., on the corner of St. James Street at around 7:30 p.m.

When the fire first broke out, firefighters received reports of flames and heavy smoke.

Kevin Comeau, a platoon chief with the Saint John Fire Department, said the fire broke out at a single storey bungalow, which was also attached to a two storey building that was also vacant. 

Comeau said the fire started in the rear entrance of the building and was contained to that one area.

Meanwhile, about seven people were forced out of their homes in an apartment building behind the two vacant structures. Comeau said residents were out of their homes for about two hours.

Nineteen firefighters were on scene battling the blaze for about three hours.

Firefighters believe the cause of the fire was suspicious and is under investigation.

Saint John Energy was also called to the scene to make sure the area was de-energized as a precaution.

There were no injuries involved in the blaze.