Nfld. & Labrador

Paradise plaza gutted by fire

The fire started Saturday afternoon in a business in the Neil's Pond Plaza on Topsail Road in Paradise.

The plaza is home to Subway, the Outport Restaurant and a number of other businesses

The roof of Neil's Pond Plaza in Paradise collapsed after a major fire tore through the structure. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

A major fire tore through Neil's Pond Plaza in Paradise, N.L., Saturday afternoon, gutting multiple businesses.

The Topsail Road plaza is home to Subway, the Outport Restaurant and a number of other businesses.

"I saw a girl … running for her life, basically," said Jordan Wheeler, who was in the adjacent building when the fire started.

"We saw the pouring smoke. We didn't know what building it was at first, but we went and looked and saw the fire coming out of Subway."

Jordan Wheeler was in the building next to the plaza. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

Most of the building's roof collapsed and members of the St. John's Regional Fire Department worked hard to douse the smouldering structure from above and from the ground.

Crew members of the St. John's Regional Fire Department sprayed the smouldering building from above. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

There were several fire trucks on scene trying to knock down the flames.

"I couldn't believe how much smoke was coming out of there. And the giant fire that was coming out of the ceiling, it was, like, massive," Wheeler said.

The neighbourhoods and surrounding streets quickly filled with thick, black smoke and a haze settled on the area as the battle progressed.

Police diverted traffic along the busy road away from the scene. As of 5:30 p.m., Topsail Road was still closed between Paradise Road and Trails End Drive.

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