British Columbia

North Vancouver residents forced out of home after fire destroys duplex

Ten residents were displaced after a fire tore through a duplex on East 3rd Street early Sunday morning.

Two neighbouring houses were also evacuated when the blaze broke out, but were not damaged.

Firefighters attack the blaze from East 3rd Street. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Ten people have been displaced after an early morning fire broke out in a North Vancouver duplex.

Bright flames were reported by residents in front of the home on East 3rd Street just before 2 a.m.

"Flames were shooting out of the roof," said Peter Langer, an international photographer who says he has lived in the house for nearly 34 years.

Photographer Peter Langer says he has lived in the duplex for nearly 34 years. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

"We were sleeping when some person screamed, 'fire, fire, fire, get out of the house!'"

North Vancouver fire crews arrived on scene and immediately evacuated the three-storey building, as well as two adjacent houses.

Roof collapsed

Residents and a number of neighbours all watched as firefighters attacked the stubborn blaze. 

Bright flames tear through the roof of the three-storey duplex. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

"It extended up into the roof area," said District of North Vancouver Battalion Chief Dan Pistilli. "We had some roof collapse, so all the crews pulled out and went defensive."

It took crews around two hours to get the fire under control. Pistilli also said a number of pets were in the building, but firefighters were able to get them out safely. 

Residents displaced

Four residents from adjacent houses were allowed to return after crews contained the fire, but the six residents from the burning duplex won't be returning home for some time.

Langer says he left behind a number of his favourite photographs when he started rushing housemates out of the burning building.

"If it's gone, it's gone," said Langer. "Everything is in the house."

Pistilli says the fire does not appear to be suspicious as this time.

A firefighter stands on top of a truck to get a view of how far the fire was spreading. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)