20-foot flames engulf house under construction in East Vancouver

May 5 2023, 4:25 pm

A house under construction in East Vancouver went up in flames Friday morning, and the smoke was visible all the way from the North Shore.

Assistant fire chief Ken Gemmill said calls began coming in just after 8 am for the home off Venables. When he arrived, the flames were “well over” 20 feet above the house.

“The time of day, rush hour, people were calling it on on Hastings. The flames were large, the smoke was huge,” Gemmill said.

Crews labelled it a two-alarm fire because of how close it was to neighbouring houses and focused on preventing it from spreading.

“They did a fantastic job,” Gemmill said. “Very minimal damage to the houses neighbouring.”

The house under construction, though, was a different story.

“Significant smoke and fire damage to the house under construction. It had no drywall on it so it was super sad.”

Crews extinguished the fire by 9 am, and haven’t received reports of any injuries. Luckily, the house was empty.

One woman, a senior neighbour, was displaced because of the fire though. Gemmill said she couldn’t go back to her home because of the smoke, and will need to be placed in alternate accommodation.

There was a heavy police presence at the home, but the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

For now, fire crews are monitoring for hot spots and the house will have to be boarded up.

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