As many as 15 people and their pets have been displaced by a major fire that destroyed two 19th-century brick buildings at 75-77 Duke St. in uptown Saint John Monday night.
The fire started at about 11:30 p.m. in the two-storey, attached buildings halfway along the block between Germain and Charlotte streets.
"There was quite a large amount of fire right throughout the entirety of the building," said Platoon Chief Brian Wilson, with the Saint John Fire Department.
"It had gotten into the walls and up into the roof cavities, and it was very difficult to try and dig out."
Firefighters worked for an hour and a half or so before they were pulled out of the building and ladder towers were brought in.
No one was injured, although three cats were treated with oxygen at the scene.
Heavy flames and thick smoke could be seen for several blocks, and traffic was blocked off on sections of Duke and Germain streets.
Saint John Energy reported 1,700 customers in the south end lost power because of the fire, but most had it back by 2 a.m.
There was no word on how the fire started.