October 13, 2017 12:08 am
Updated: October 13, 2017 10:40 am

Fire breaks out on Mitchell Island auto-wrecking yard, witness describes ‘explosions’

A large fire continued to burn into the night on Mitchell Island. Our reporter Catherine Urquhart gets the latest from deputy chief Tim Wilkinson.


Gina Robinson heard it before she saw it.

The South Vancouver resident was sitting at home watching TV in the Fraserview area when she heard an explosion.

“I thought maybe a building had fallen or something,” she told Global News.

“I looked outside the window and noticed there was a huge fire over on Mitchell Island.”

WATCH: A witness described hearing an explosion at Mitchell Island before she looked to find a fire burning there on Thursday night

The video that Robinson took showed large flames rising up from Mitchell Island, which is located between Vancouver and Richmond.

Robinson said that “tons of explosions” have been happening at the site of the fire, and that numerous residents who live across the water turned out to their balconies to watch it burn.

The fire broke out just before 8 p.m. Thursday, and 75 to 100 per cent of the buildings in an auto-wrecking yard were up in flames when firefighters arrived, said Tim Wilkinson, deputy chief of operations with Richmond Fire Rescue.

WATCH: Fire at Richmond auto-wrecking yard in sends black smoke into the air

It was a first-alarm fire, and firefighters were dealing with the possible collapse of a building, although there were no occupants inside.

There were 28 firefighters on the scene on Thursday night, he said.

Many remained on scene until Friday morning.

READ MORE: Huge fire breaks out at Mitchell island recycling plant

“We had a report of one person trapped in the building,” said Wilkinson.

“Fortunately that person was able to self-evacuate without any major injuries. That person has some scrapes and bruising but fortunately no broken bones, no real real long-lasting injuries.”

This isn’t the only time that a fire has broken out on Mitchell Island recently.

In June, a blaze broke out at a mattress recycling depot, at the very same facility where another fire broke out two years prior.

Here are some photos of the Mitchell Island fire:

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