Saint John Fire Displaces 22 People, Damages 4 Buildings

A structure fire in uptown Saint John Friday morning displaced at least 22 people, according to volunteers from the Canadian Red Cross.

It began at a three-storey apartment house at 239 Waterloo Street. The fire spread into two neighbouring apartment houses and damaged two unattached buildings.

Thick, black smoke and flames blanketed the cloud-covered skies of the port city as fire crews battled the blaze during heavy winds and occasional rainfall.

Officials reported no injuries during Friday’s fire, which damaged three structures on Waterloo Street and one each on Delhi and Brinley Streets.

Initial reports indicated the fire displaced 14 people, but Canadian Red Cross Spokesperson Dan Bedell said the number increased to 22.

Bedell said volunteers provided assistance to all 22 people, with most receiving temporary lodging, food, clothing, other essentials and transportation to hotels for some residents.

“Emergency lodging support has been extended by several days taking account of the Christmas-Boxing Day holiday long weekend,” said Bedell, with help from the Department of Social Development.

“A few tenants opted to stay with relatives or friends rather than hotels.”

Red Cross volunteers did not release the cause of the fire.