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3-alarm fire engulfs highrise apartment in Vancouver’s West End

Click to play video: 'Vancouver apartment engulfed in 3-alarm fire' Vancouver apartment engulfed in 3-alarm fire
WATCH: A three-alarm fire engulfed a highrise apartment building in Vancouver's West End – Oct 31, 2019

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.

READ MORE: Vancouver fire crews battle 2-alarm West End apartment fire

“It was contained to that unit, mainly due to the quick response of getting up there and getting water on it,” he said. “There was concern of it spreading a floor above, but [firefighters] did a great job.”

No residents or firefighters were injured during the blaze. Stroup said no one was inside the suite at the time.

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Videos and pictures sent to Global News show heavy flames and smoke pouring from the apartment.

Smoke and flames pour out of a West End apartment building on Oct. 31, 2019.
Smoke and flames pour out of a West End apartment building on Oct. 31, 2019. Kathleen Black

“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.

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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.

Click to play video: 'Fire crews fight West Vancouver blaze' Fire crews fight West Vancouver blaze
Fire crews fight West Vancouver blaze – Jun 24, 2019

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