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Fire damaged a building in Saint John's north end on Aug. 23, 2023. Image: Brad Perry

UPDATE: Saint John fire considered suspicious

By Brad Perry Aug 23, 2023 | 11:56 AM

A fire that tore through a vacant building in the north end of Saint John is being treated as suspicious.

First responders were called to the corner of Metcalf and Elgin streets early Wednesday morning.

Platoon Chief Brian Wilson of the Saint John Fire Department said first arriving crews found fire in the front entryway of a three-storey structure.

“The fire travelled through that first floor and up into the second and third-floor area of the building on about the first half of it,” Wilson said in an interview.

“Crews were pretty aggressive with it and managed to get a number of lines on it and made an interior attack through the back side of the building and put it out.”

Several hours after the blaze started, fire crews were still working to put out hotspots in the building.

Wilson said officials are working to determine whether the heavily damaged building will need to be torn down.

The fire investigator was also on scene Wednesday morning trying to find out exactly how the fire started.

“It would go so far as to say it certainly is suspicious in nature,” he said.

93-97 Metcalf Street was recently listed for sale at a price of $125,000. The listing said the building was in “need of extensive work” but had “loads of potential to be a solid money maker.”

Wilson said this was the third vacant building fire in the city’s north end in five days.

Police discovered a fire in the area of Cranston Avenue and First Street early Monday morning. Crews managed to contain the fire in the basement of the three-storey building.

And on Saturday morning, fire officials say a blaze damaged a two-storey building on Victoria Street.

No injuries were reported in any of the fires.


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