British Columbia

House fires, fireworks mischief keep Metro Vancouver crews busy on Halloween

Metro Vancouver fire crews had a busy Halloween, with at least two fires in the City of Vancouver and two more in Surrey and Langley.

4 fires in Vancouver, Surrey and Langley through the night

Battalion Chief Dave Roselund at the scene of a house fire in the Oakridge neighbourhood overnight. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Metro Vancouver fire crews had a busy Halloween, with at least two fires in the City of Vancouver and two more in Surrey and Langley.

One fire in Vancouver broke out at high-rise along Beach Avenue around 6 p.m. PT, sending flames shooting out of a 16th-storey window. No one was injured, but dozens were forced out of the building as crews extinguished the fire.

Another fire at a home in the Oakridge neighbourhood, near Athlone Street and West 43, broke out around 3 a.m. PT.

The house was unoccupied as it was undergoing renovations, but most of its roof was destroyed by the time crews arrived. One person was taken to hospital.

Vancouver Battalion Chief Dave Rosenlund said there were several other minor fires across the city on Halloween, though he couldn't provide further specifics. He also said crews were doing drive-bys at several city parks, watching for fireworks.

"There were kids playing with the fireworks in the parks and lighting garbage cans," he said, adding the workload had been taxing on staff.

"It's ... been quite a toll on all the crews tonight," he said. "While we're working, everything's good ... we'll see the toll it takes in the morning."

Vancouver police said they received several noise complaints in relation to fireworks, but nothing that required a significant police response.

A fire broke out at an apartment building on Beach Avenue in Vancouver's West End on Oct. 31. Fire crews said no one was injured. (George Touhakis)

In Surrey, more than two dozen firefighters battled a fire on the top floor of a three-storey apartment building on 150 Street near 105 Avenue just before 11:30 p.m.

The building had 48 units, all of which had to be evacuated. Around half of the residents living in the building have been able to return home, but many are not allowed back until fire crews further assess the damage.

Surrey Assistant Chief of Operations David Burns said two people were taken to hospital for checkups after the fire, but there were no major injuries.

Other than the apartment fire, Burns said it was a "steady" Halloween night in Surrey.

The Township of Langley saw a similar night. An abandoned house slated for demolition went up in flames in the 20200 block of 82 Avenue around 6 p.m. PT. No one was injured.

Deputy Chief Mark Armstrong said crews also dealt with nuisance fires, particularly in dumpsters, as well as a few fireworks-related calls.

The causes of all four fires remain under investigation, though Armstrong said the Langley fire is considered suspicious. 


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