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Crews battle a structure fire at the corner of Charlotte and Harding streets in Saint John’s south end on Oct. 1, 2023. Image: Brad Perry

UPDATE: One person seriously injured in Saint John fire

By Brad Perry Oct 2, 2023 | 11:32 AM

One person suffered serious injuries in a fire that extensively damaged a building in Saint John’s south end, fire officials said.

Firefighters were called to a multi-unit building at the corner of Charlotte and Harding streets around 6:45 p.m. Sunday.

“Upon arrival, crews found heavy smoke emitting from the building,” Mark Arrand, a platoon chief with the Saint John Fire Department, said in an interview.

“Crews made repeated interior attacks and, after several attempts, crews then moved to a defensive strategy.”

It took more than three dozen Saint John firefighters about two hours to knock down most of the fire, said Arrand.

Most of the crews were released around midnight with the remaining crews leaving the scene around 4 a.m. Monday.

Fire caused extensive damage to a multi-unit building in Saint John’s south end on Oct. 1, 2023. Image: Brad Perry

Eight people were living in the building, according to the Canadian Red Cross, which arranged emergency lodging, transportation and financial aid for purchases like food and clothing.

Arrand said firefighters managed to save an adjacent building which was attached to the damaged structure.

The platoon chief said fires in older buildings like this one can be challenging for crews to put out.

“Older structures like the one involved in the fire could have underwent extensive renovations. Balloon-frame construction is always a challenge in our city and in older structures like that,” said Arrand.

Heavy smoke from the fire prompted the fire department to issue a shelter-in-place recommendation for nearby residents.

They were asked to stay inside with windows and doors closed for more than two hours on Sunday evening.

Fire investigators were on the scene to determine the cause, but specific details have not been released at this time.