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A major fire on Waterloo Street forced the evacuation of several buildings on Friday. Image: Tamara Steele.

UPDATE: Waterloo Street Fire Displaces At Least 22 People

By Tamara Steele Dec 24, 2022 | 9:12 AM

The number of people impacted by a Friday fire on Waterloo Street in Saint John has risen to nearly two dozen.

The fire started in a three-storey house containing multiple apartments and spread through the walls and attic into two adjoining buildings.

It also damaged two unattached buildings nearby, according to a news release from the Canadian Red Cross.

Thick black smoke and flames could be seen coming from the back of 239 Waterloo Street the building over the lunch hour on Friday.

Multiple fire trucks and other emergency vehicles were on the scene near Haymarket Square. Strong winds made it a serious challenge for fire crews to fight the blaze.

John Moyse lives in an upstairs apartment where firefighters were blasting water. He was alerted to the blaze by the noise from downstairs and honking on the street.

“We had [enough] time to put our stuff on and grab the cat and the cat case and that was it. Grab our phone and call 911. We came out the door and the fire department was already setting up in front of our door,” Moyse said.

Some tenants kept warm in a Saint John Transit bus.

Waterloo Street was blocked to traffic between Alma Street and Haymarket Square.

The Red Cross has provided emergency help to all 22 of those impacted, in most cases with temporary lodging as well as purchases of food, some other essential needs, and transportation to hotels for some residents.

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

“In collaboration with the provincial Department of Social Development, emergency lodging support has been extended by several days taking account of the Christmas-Boxing Day holiday long weekend,” said the Red Cross.

No injuries have been reported and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

With files from Brad Perry


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