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All remaining evacuated residents given the green light to return home this morning


Following a 24-hour period of air quality monitoring, and confirmation that last night’s high winds and heavy rains have not caused any damages, the 56 remaining residents on River Avenue and Pleasant City Street will begin returning home today. All  evacuated residents from Spruce Avenue, First Street East and Second Street East returned home yesterday afternoon without incident after home safety inspections all indicated safe air quality levels.

First responder re-entry teams will continue to accompany all remaining residents into their homes today. Upon entry, a comprehensive home safety inspection will be completed at each residence to test and document air quality, and ensure that no damages have been sustained to the properties. Re-entry into each home is only permitted once an LEL reading of zero is confirmed during the inspections, which ensures that there is no concentration of butane gas or vapour in the air.  

Bayside Drive, River Avenue and Pleasant City Street are closed to the general public today, with controlled access in place to allow for the safe and efficient re-entry of local area residents. The public will be notified once these traffic detours have been lifted.  

In total, 84 residents were evacuated from 34 homes since Monday, and hundreds of incident responders worked around the clock to mitigate any risks associated with the butane leak.

The Saint John EMO, The Canadian Red Cross and Irving Oil Limited have maintained close contact with displaced residents over the past week and would like to acknowledge all evacuees for their tremendous resiliency, patience, and will to maintain such well-rounded spirits. We also thank the general public for their continued patience and understanding through a week of traffic interruptions on the east side. By following requests to plan travel accordingly and avoid the Bayside Drive area, the public provided our incident responders with the space they needed to get the job done as quickly and safely as possible. Members of the Saint John EMO, and all partner agencies and organizations who responded to the incident are commended for their quick response to secure the site of the leak, and for their tireless efforts to manage the incident without injury to anyone. 

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City of Saint John
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(506) 649-6008