12 tenants displaced after bricks fall from building in Saint John | RiseNB

12 tenants displaced after bricks fall from building in Saint John

Several bricks fell from the front of a building and onto Charlotte Street in Saint John on Friday night, forcing the evacuation of 12 tenants. 

The Saint John Fire department responded to the report of an explosion on Charlotte Street at around 2 a.m. on Friday. According to Platoon Chief Josh Hennessey, bricks had fallen off the first two storeys of the three-storey building at 269 Charlotte St.

Crews conducted a search to evacuate the building. No injuries were reported.

Charlotte Street is barricaded from Queen Street, Queen Square South and Harding Street and closed to all vehicle traffic. There’s also no foot traffic permitted from 265 to 271 Charlotte St.

Demolition work is expected to take place Sunday morning, according to Hennessey.

“Until that demolition work is complete and assessment takes place, we anticipate that area will remain closed off to all vehicle and foot traffic,” he said.

The Saint John Fire Department closed off the roads surrounding the building on Charlotte Street. (Jericho Knopp)

CBC has contacted Saint John Police for more information. There is nothing in the statement to indicate if an explosion occurred.

The Canadian Red Cross says it’s assisting a woman and two children from one apartment, and a couple with three children, including a four-month-old infant, from a second unit.

“Due to a lack of hotel rooms in the Saint John area over the New Brunswick Day holiday long weekend, those three adults and six children had to travel to Moncton to stay with relatives or friends but had no means of transportation, so the Red Cross also covered taxi fares from Saint John to Moncton,” communications director Dan Bedell wrote in a statement.

Tenant heading back to building today

Mila Deblois, one of the tenants displaced from Charlotte Street, is heading back to Saint John from Moncton today with her two children.

She said her landlord has told her it’s safe to re-enter the building.

Deblois said she didn’t hear or see an explosion.

Her friend, who was visiting Deblois with her children, was awake tending to her baby. According to Deblois, her friend heard a noise like something falling. 

Shortly after a knock came on the door. It was the fire crews, saying they had to evacuate.

Deblois still doesn’t know what caused the bricks to fall, though she said there were a lot of them in the street. She added most of them fell off a neighbouring unit while her unit is fine.

She said she was worried at first when she stood in the street and wondered where she and her family would go. Luckily, they had some friends in Moncton, and the Canadian Red Cross paid for the transportation. 

“The kids are all fine, we’re all fine,” she said. 

She said the building was old to start with and wasn’t totally surprised by the incident.

Read the full article here