FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued today by Premier Blaine Higgs on the fire in Saint John:

I know today has been a difficult day for tens of thousands of people in Saint John and the surrounding area as a result of the fire at the American Iron and Metal (AIM) scrapyard in Saint John. Your everyday lives have been disrupted and I share the concerns I know you have about what happened.

The focus at the moment is on getting the fire out and ensuring everyone’s safety. Firefighters and emergency crews have spent the day doing just that and they will continue until the fire is extinguished.

I want to assure you there will be a full investigation. As part of that investigation, AIM must submit a preliminary report within 24 hours of the event and a follow-up report within five days of the event. The investigation will take the time required and be thorough. There will be no consideration of resumption of operations until we have more information about what took place.

I know people are angry and want answers as to how this could happen. I want those answers as well and I am committed to sharing what we find out as soon as we are able.

Thank you to the firefighters and emergency crews who have responded along with J.D. Irving, Limited; Irving Oil; city officials; EMO; and the residents of greater Saint John who have been helping by checking on their loved ones and neighbours. I ask that everyone continues to follow the direction given from emergency officials to keep you safe.