Nfld. & Labrador

Habitat for Humanity home in C.B.S. ruined in fire, displaces families

No one was injured, but multiple families were displaced during the fire, which started just before midnight.

No one was injured in the fire, the RNC said, and the cause is still under investigation

Firefighters at the scene of a fire at a triplex on Chateau Avenue in Foxtrap, Conception Bay South. (Nancy Taylor/Twitter)

A newly constructed Habitat for Humanity home in Foxtrap, in Conception Bay South, was ruined by fire, displacing multiple families Thursday night.

Just before midnight, firefighters and police were called to the triplex, on Chateau Avenue.

"It's devastating," says Sandra Whiffen, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Newfoundland and Labrador.

The fire started in the middle unit, Whiffen said, and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said the flames quickly spread and damaged the other attached units.

This is what the triplex looked like less than a year ago, before the three families were able to move in. (Habitat for Humanity Facebook page)

"Not sure of the extent of the damage of the other units, but it's just devastating for us.… The families probably moved in around last May, and we're really devastated for the families and very shocked," she said. 

No one was injured in the fire, something Whiffen said she's extremely grateful for, but the displaced families had put a lot of work into their new homes.

"The families did their sweat equity, they worked hard … and a lot of skilled labour and volunteers came together and sponsors came together to make these homes a success," said Whiffen. "They're very upset, devastated. In shock, really. It's something that nobody expected, for sure."

The Canadian Red Cross is helping one woman and two children, who lived in one of the units, buy baby supplies and clothes.

They're staying with relatives, while the other two families have made their own arrangements, according to a release sent by the organization on Friday. 

Whiffen said the triplex was insured, but it's still too early to tell what the next steps will be.

First, Whiffen wants to meet with the families and see how they're coping.

"Just sadness, and thinking about the families and really glad that they're OK and safe … but just devastating, I don't know what else to say about it," she said. "It really hits your heart."

The Salvation Army was on scene to provide the families with immediate assistance, the RNC said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from the St. John's Morning Show