A three-alarm fire overtook at least one highrise apartment in Vancouver’s West End Thursday night.
Vancouver Assistant Fire Chief Dan Stroup said crews arrived at the building in the 1100-block of Beach Avenue near Thurlow Street three minutes after they were called at 6:20 p.m.
The fire, initially reported as a two-alarm, began in a suite on the 16th floor of the building, Stroup said.
No residents or firefighters were injured during the blaze. Stroup said no one was inside the suite at the time.
Videos and pictures sent to Global News show heavy flames and smoke pouring from the apartment.
“It was pretty intense,” said Alex Ramon, who lives in the building next door. “It’s probably one unit but the smoke makes it look like three or four.”
By 7 p.m. the fire appeared to be under control and firefighters were able to go inside the suite.
Stroup said there is some water and smoke damage in the hallway.
Vancouver fire Chief Darryl Reid said on Twitter that residents were assisted by emergency social services, including a transit bus provided to keep people warm.
By 8 p.m., residents were allowed back inside the building.
Reid and Stroup said the cause of the fire is under investigation.
Witnesses told Global News firefighters had to tell drivers to stop travelling over their hose crossing Thurlow Street so they could turn on the water.
TransLink detoured shuttle bus service on Beach Avenue between Pacific and Howe streets to avoid the scene.