British Columbia

Businesses damaged, stretch of Cambie Street closed after overnight fire in Vancouver

Firefighters were called to Cambie Street near West 23rd Avenue after the fire broke out around 2 a.m. PT. The area, just north of the King Edward Canada Line station, is home to a number of restaurants and cafes.

Fire broke out near Cambie and West 23rd Avenue around 2 a.m. PT

Fire crews douse smouldering rubble after a fire in the 4000-block of Cambie Street in Vancouver early Thursday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Five businesses have been damaged in an overnight fire near a major intersection in Vancouver.

Firefighters were called to Cambie Street near West 23rd Avenue after the fire broke out around 2 a.m. PT. The area, just north of the King Edward Canada Line station, is home to a number of restaurants and cafes.

Vancouver fire's acting chief, Dan Stroup, said five businesses were affected by the fire. At least two restaurants, a pharmacy and a dry cleaner were seriously damaged.

He said the fire started in the back of one building and made its way into the attic.

 

"In these old buildings, you have multiple years of renovation and layers of ceiling, so once the fire gets in ... it takes off," Stroup said.

No one was hurt in the fire. Stroup said crews evacuated a number of cats from an animal boarding centre that filled with smoke.

Jin Choi, the owner of Ton Ton Sushi, woke up in the middle of the night to a call from his alarm company after firefighters triggered the alarm system.

He rushed to the scene to find flames shooting out of the neighbouring building.

"When I came here, everything [was] burned," he said Thursday, standing outside his restaurant. "My restaurant is OK. Smoke damage and water damage. I'll have to get the smell out but then I can reopen."

Fire crews say at least five businesses were damaged in the fire. Neighbouring suites also had water and smoke damage. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Stroup said more than 50 firefighters responded to the scene. The department is asking anyone with respiratory issues to avoid the area or, if they live nearby, to stay inside with the windows shut as the fire is still giving off "considerable amounts of smoke."

Cambie Street is shut down to traffic in both directions from King Edward Street to 20 Avenue as fire crews continue their work on scene. Vancouver police said the road will likely be closed until at least 11 a.m. PT.

The fire department said investigators are still gathering evidence to determine how the fire started.

Passersby stopped to watch crews work on the fire in the 4000-block of Cambie Street in Vancouver on Thursday. The road was closed to road traffic for hours. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

With files from Yvette Brend

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