Mother and young child die following apartment fire in North Vancouver
An early morning apartment fire in North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley has claimed two lives Monday.
Fifty-year-old Narges Casnajad and her seven-year-old son Sepehr were killed when flames tore through the Mountain Village Apartment complex in the 2000-block of Whiteley Court around 2:30 a.m.
WATCH: Mother and young child killed in North Vancouver fire
A 14-year-old boy and the father managed to get out safely.
They were celebrating a family birthday earlier in the day and returned home to sleep when tragedy struck.
One witness told Global News it was like watching a ball of flames erupt into the night sky. North Vancouver RCMP said the fire was fully involved when emergency services arrived on scene.
A total of 12 people were taken to hospital with injuries that vary from serious burns to smoke inhalation.
In total, about 150 residents of the building on Emory Place were evacuated to a nearby Safeway.
Someone reported hearing an explosion before the fire broke out but that has not been confirmed at this time.
The residents who live there said they were shaken by what happened.
Jean McCreesh said her daughter woke her up at around 2:30 by screaming, “fire!”
She said all she wanted to do was help people, but felt powerless.
“It’s one thing to see a fire on TV but to see that it’s really traumatic,” she said.
“And then we found out this morning that our neighbours had died, the mom and the son, and I just saw her two days ago. She worked up at the mall and she was a lovely woman.”
It is not clear at this time how the blaze broke out.
Firefighters were on the scene all day putting out hot spots, and the coroner has now been called to the site.
The North Shore Emergency Management Office (NSEMO) was activated to help with the evacuated residents of the three neighbouring apartment buildings. Those evacuated have since been allowed to return to their homes.
Police say there is extensive damage to the 17 units of the fire-ravaged building. Approximately 70 residents have been permanently displaced from that apartment building.
— With files from Tanya Beja and Jon Azpiri
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.