Fire has destroyed a house on the Southside Road. A man, the only one home at the time, got out on his own but was sent to hospital, likely for smoke inhalation. There is no sign of the man’s pet cat. The two-storey detached home is located across from a store on the Southside Road

VOCM: Home Destroyed by Fire

A fire late Sunday afternoon at a house on Southside Road in St. John’s sent one man to hospital.

St. John’s Regional Fire Department received multiple calls about the blaze at approximately 4:30 p.m. Flames were still visible 30 minutes later as crews worked to control the fire.

“Certainly all trucks that were responding to it had no trouble finding it, because it was very heavy smoke on arrival, and there was heavy fire coming out through the front windows and the side door towards the back,” said Shift Supt. Don Byrne.

It was initially reported to the fire department that a man was still inside the house when the fire started. He managed to escape by the time the fire department arrived and was subsequently taken to hospital.

“From what I could see, it was smoke inhalation,” said Byrne, who added the concentration of fire inside the house was considerable.

“At one juncture, we actually pulled all of our people out, because there was such a heavy concentration of fire. We trained our lines in through the windows and got the atmosphere in their cooled down and were able to get back in on top of it.”

The man was the only occupant of the single-detached dwelling. Byrne said there was a report of a pet cat living in the house. Its whereabouts were unknown as of early Sunday evening.

Weather conditions were chilly in advance of a snowstorm that was expected to hit the city later in the day. Byrne said cold temperatures can pose a problem for firefighters when trying to access water lines and use breathing apparatus.

“Currently, we’re not having any major problems with it,” he said when speaking to reporters shortly before 5:30 p.m. “We’ve got it under control now, and we’re currently just overhauling on the inside.”

Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers and Newfoundland Power employees were also present at the scene of the fire Sunday.

The Telegram: St. John’s house fire sends man to hospital