Nfld. & Labrador

Cause of fire at vacant building in St. John's under investigation

Crews with the St. John's Regional Fire Department were at the scene of a fire on the corner of Freshwater Road and Spencer Street.
Fire crews were using chainsaws early this morning, trying to put out a fire in the walls of a building on Freshwater Road in St. John's. 1:29

Crews with the St. John's Regional Fire Department were called Monday to a fire in a former business on the corner of Freshwater Road and Spencer Street.

Firefighters were called shortly after 6 a.m. and discovered a fire on the first floor which was moving upwards in the two-storey structure.

"It was after extending from the first floor up into the second floor by that time, so we knocked down the bulk of the fire, but it got into the walls," said platoon chief Robert Fowler.

"Another few minutes, it probably would have been a different story."

Around 6:40 a.m., firefighters at the scene were using chainsaws to cut holes in the second floor to douse the fire.

Firefighters also had to smash a patio door in order to access the building. 

There was nobody inside, and firefighters said the building appeared to be vacant. 

Fowler said he doesn't know what caused the fire, and that investigation will be handed over to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.

Freshwater Road in St. John's blocked off to traffic before 7 a.m., as crews remain on the scene of a structure fire. (Alyson Samson/CBC)

With files from Cecil Haire