British Columbia

Fire at Deep Cove seniors home displaces dozens, sends 8 to hospital

North Shore Emergency Management said 66 residents have been displaced, with the majority staying with friends and family.

Witness says fire at seniors home broke out shortly before 1 p.m. PT

Witness Tom Currelly shot this video of emergency crews fighting the blaze. 0:57

Ten people were taken to hospital and dozens of others displaced Tuesday afternoon, after a fire broke out at a seniors' home in Deep Cove, B.C.

In a written statement Tuesday evening, North Shore Emergency Management said firefighters were still battling the fire at the four-storey, 60-unit seniors' apartment building. 

It said around 66 residents had been displaced from the building, with about 20 people staying in group lodging and hotel rooms.

The agency said around 8 people were taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, but have since been released.

Photos on social media showed smoke choking out the sky and seniors climbing down ladders with the careful assistance of firefighters.

Witness Tom Currelly, 64, said he first saw the fire shortly before 1 p.m. PT after finishing lunch with a friend.

"By the time it started punching through the roof line it came really fast," Currelly said. "There's all kinds of smoke and flame moving very quickly."

Currelly described firefighters' rapid response to the blaze.

"They must have had every truck in North Vancouver there at one point."

A witness' video shows fire trucks dousing the fire in Deep Cove Tuesday afternoon. (Tom Currelly)

Sgt. Geoff Harder with North Vancouver RCMP said officers had closed several roads surrounding the 4200 block of Naughton and district officials are warning people to stay away from the area.

The emergency management department says the air quality in the area is "extremely poor."

"Please shut all doors and windows and remain indoors if possible if you are in the area," it said in a tweet.

The district also said local residents' water may appear cloudy as a result of firefighting efforts but is still safe to drink.