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Harbour Grace apartment fire under investigation

Tenants of this Harbour Grace apartment building were evacuated on Sunday night after a suspicious fire within the building.
Tenants of this Harbour Grace apartment building were evacuated on Sunday night after a suspicious fire within the building. - Chris Lewis

Police deem Sunday’s fire suspicious

HARBOUR GRACE, NL — The cause of a fire that forced several residents out of an apartment building Sunday night is currently under investigation.

At around 10:45 p.m. Sunday night, Nov. 12, the Harbour Grace Volunteer Fire Brigade, as well as the Harbour Grace RCMP detachment got a call regarding a fire in the apartment building located on 97 Harvey Street.

According to RCMP Staff Sgt. Greg Hicks, the fire was deemed suspicious following an investigation of the scene carried out that night, leading into the morning, and investigators have spoken to several possible suspects in the matter, though no charges have been laid as of Tuesday morning.

RCMP also aided the brigade with evacuations, which saw four people taken to hospital to be checked for smoke inhalation, but there were no serious injuries following the incident.

Disaster volunteers with the Canadian Red Cross have since assisted two of the four tenants who were sent to hospital, providing them with emergency hotel lodging, food, and clothing.

The two-storey building suffered only minor damages as a result of the fire, according to Jim Barnes, fire chief of the Harbour Grace Volunteer Fire Brigade.

“There was a bit of structural damage, because we did have to break down a few doors to enter certain parts of the building,” Barnes explained. “But overall, there were no major damages, and no serious injuries, which is always good.”

Barnes also explained tenants were likely to be back in their apartments today, but was not entirely certain, as the building did require a recertification for the fire alarm and sprinkler systems.

Hicks urged anyone with information on the incident to contact the RCMP at 709-596-5014, or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

chris.lewis@cbncompass.ca

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