Fire at FFAW headquarters an 'act of active violence,' president says

·2 min read
FFAW president Keith Sullivan suspects a fire at the union headquarters in St. John's was deliberately set.  (Eddy Kennedy/CBC - image credit)
FFAW president Keith Sullivan suspects a fire at the union headquarters in St. John's was deliberately set. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC - image credit)
FFAW president Keith Sullivan suspects a fire at the union headquarters in St. John's was deliberately set.
FFAW president Keith Sullivan suspects a fire at the union headquarters in St. John's was deliberately set. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

A fire that damaged the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union headquarters in St. John's on Easter morning was a deliberate attack, according to president Keith Sullivan.

RNC officers responded to the FFAW building at 368 Hamilton Ave. shortly before 4:30 a.m. NT on Sunday.

"We're very concerned. We are taking it very seriously," said Sullivan.

"It was intent to do damage there, and it was an intentional act of active violence."

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said the event is suspicious, and is under investigation. The police are asking people with relevant closed-circuit or dashcam video to come forward.

Given the proximity to a nearby residential area, Sullivan said he is relieved that nobody was injured.

No FFAW staff were present at the time of the fire, which occurred in the early morning hours of Easter Sunday.

It's very clear that it was arson. - Keith Sullivan

"Even though we have 50 people who have the office as a second home, and spend all kinds of hours there," Sullivan said.

Sullivan could nto speak directly to whether an incendiary device had been used to start the fire.

"Whoever was involved in attempting to start this [fire] was prepared," he said. "And I think the evidence was left there, so it's very clear that it was arson."

Beyond the damage to their building, which houses a number of offices for certification and safety in the fishing industry, Sullivan said the fire also put first responders at risk.

"[The fire] presented a potentially dangerous and tragic situation for people that would have had to respond," he said.

"Credit to them, they acted quickly and prevented any of this from becoming a tragedy."

Sullivan said the FFAW is working with police to get as much information as they can about the fire, and to find out who is responsible for the alleged attack.

According to a statement released by the union, while the fire has displaced them from their offices, there should be no interruption to services provided to members.

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