Fire in the West End “accidental” but over 80 residents are displaced

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Photo: Matthew Leigh / Twitter

On Thursday, October 4th, Vancouver Fire and Rescue responded to a call at the 900 block of Thurlow of smoke pouring out of the 4th floor of a building.

As a result, Thurlow Street had to be blocked off from Robson to Davie in order for firetrucks to move in. The street remained closed for the majority of the day.

A number of pets were evacuated from the building, and Vancouver Fire and Rescue shared an adorable image on Twitter of a little kitty getting clean air from a Vancouver firefighter.

They were able to find the origin of the fire in a suite on the 4th floor, but the smoke had extended through the walls. What’s more, a firefighter was injured and was subsequently treated by the BC Emergency Health Services.

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Vancouver Is Awesome spoke to Jonathan Gormick, Captain, Public Information Officer, of Vancouver Fire and Rescue, who informed us that the injured officer was released from health services 12 hours later. In addition, he stated that all of the animals were rescued from the building, but some of them sustained injuries.

With that being said, the damages to the building turned out to be worse than initially anticipated. Not only did they have to cut five or six large holes in the roof in order to locate the source of the fire, but there is also considerable smoke damage.

What’s more, he said that the cause of the fire was, “accidental, and likely caused by an appliance.”

With that being said, he added that the department is still conducting the investigation, and hasn’t released full details yet.

Sadly, more than 80 residents of the building are now without homes. Captain Gormick was unable to give an exact timeline of when the homes will be restored, but it could take many months.

Emergency Social Services houses people for 48 hours after a crisis, but after this time they have to find alternative accommodation.

Captain Gormik stressed the importance of renter’s insurance, as well as fire safety and prevention.