Vancouver SRO fire displaces more than a dozen residents: investigators

Roughly 20 people have been displaced after yet another fire at one of Vancouver’s single-room occupancy (SRO) buildings, according to Vancouver Fire Rescue Service (VFRS).

The fire broke out on Thursday night at the Tamura House on Dunlevy Avenue and Powell Street.

VFRS Assistant Chief Keith Stewart tells CityNews that crews were called just after 10 p.m.

“There was smoke on multiple floors,” Stewart said. “Around 30 firefighters were on scene.”

Upon arrival, Stewart says that the fire seemed larger than it was.

“It was just outside in the atrium and [firefighters] were able to access it through one unit.”

Stewart notes that the fire is believed to have started in the second floor atrium.

“Crews initially thought the fire was on the fourth floor, because that’s where the most smoke was. Turns out the fire was actually on the second floor,” he said.

“We’ve had an incident in this building before, so our crews knew to go up on the roof, and they cracked the glass to the enclosed atrium [which] helped with ventilaiton.”

At this point, it’s unclear how long it took firefighters to get the flames and smoke under control.

Stewart believes that the extent of damage was likely caused by smoke. He adds that smoke ascended from the second floor, affecting much of the third and fourth floors.

“What happens when there’s a fire in this building…the smoke can’t go anywhere, presenting smoky conditions on every floor.”

The fire’s origin is under investigation.

No injuries were reported.

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