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'Hundreds of bricks' fall from Saint John building displacing up to 12 people

A Canadian Red Cross emergency shelter unit at the Regent Park Community Centre in Toronto, on Friday, January 5, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov) A Canadian Red Cross emergency shelter unit at the Regent Park Community Centre in Toronto, on Friday, January 5, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov)
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Up to a dozen people have been displaced from an apartment building in Saint John, N.B., after the building’s brick facade collapsed overnight Saturday.

A “structural failure” sent “hundreds of bricks” crashing onto the sidewalk and street from the historically designated house, said the Canadian Red Cross.

The building, on Charlotte Street in the city’s Uptown area, contains three apartments.

Red Cross volunteers are helping a woman and two children from one apartment and a couple with three children, including a four-month-old, from another unit with emergency purchases like clothing, food, and other essentials.

Because of a lack of hotel rooms in the area, the three adults and five children had to take taxis to Moncton to stay with relatives or friends. The Red Cross says they covered the taxi fares.

Tenants from the third apartment did not need help from the Red Cross.

No injuries have been reported.

There is no telling whether the tenants will be able to get their personal items out of the building because it’s been cordoned off and deemed structurally unsafe.

The three-storey house, opposite the historic Queen Square Park in the Trinity Royal Preservation Area, is known as the William Vassie Residence and is designated a "local historic place,” said the Red Cross.

It was built in 1879 as part of a massive reconstruction following the Great Saint John Fire that destroyed two-thirds of the city in 1877.

Correction

This article is a corrected version. The Canadian Redcross issued a retraction Saturday stating there was one fewer person involved in the incident than what was previously mentioned.

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