British Columbia

Up to 60 people forced from homes by Marpole fire

The Vancouver fire department says as many as 60 people had to evacuate their homes as flames engulfed a four-storey building near West 72 Avenue and Cartier Street.

Fire department says to expect traffic delays near West 72 Avenue and Cartier Street

The Vancouver fire department says flames engulfed the rear of this building near West 72nd Avenue and Cartier Street. (Jon Hernandez/CBC News)

The Vancouver fire department says as many as 60 people had to evacuate their homes Saturday afternoon as flames engulfed a four-storey building near West 72 Avenue and Cartier Street.

Fire crews were still on scene at 5 p.m., ensuring the flames didn't spread throughout the building.

"We're still in firefighting mode. We're still getting hot spots and we're still doing salvage and overhaul to all these suites to make sure the fire isn't still spreading inside the walls," said Assistant Fire Chief Ken Gemmill.

A fire in Marpole has forced families to evacuate this building near West 72nd Avenue and Cartier Street. (Michael Tripper)

Of the 26 apartments in the building, Gemmill said six had been gutted.

Fire crews arrived at the scene to find flames burning through the rear of the wood-frame building.

"There's extensive fire damage to the first, second, third floor on the backside and then there's moderate to severe smoke damage throughout the building," Gemmill said. 

Firefighters say to expect traffic delays in the area.

Some social media posts show the smoke was visible from Richmond.

Gemmill said Emergency Social Services had been called to help displaced tenants find accommodation.

"It's an ugly time for everyone," he said. "We've got to figure out what we're going to do with these tenants because of this COVID situation."

He said investigators are on the scene to determine how the fire started.

"It'll be some time before we can totally figure out what happened, where it started."

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