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‘A very, very difficult night’: 1 dead in East Vancouver fire

Fire crews responded to a call in East Vancouver on Commercial Drive Monday night. They found one man inside the building. Paramedics tried to revive the man but he died on the scene.

One man is dead after a fire at a commercial building in East Vancouver on Tuesday.

Firefighters were called to the building on Pandora Street near Commercial Drive at 9:40 p.m., according to fire officials, and arrived to find smoke billowing out of the back of the two-storey structure.

Crews say they found the man on the second floor shortly after entering the building.

READ MORE: 3 taken to hospital after fire rips through Kitsilano apartment building

Firefighters and paramedics performed CPR on the man, but he died at the scene.

“It’s a very, very difficult night,” Assistant Fire Chief Trevor Connelly said. “The crews take this kind of stuff very hard. Obviously, we want to save people. That’s our job. When that doesn’t go well, it hits the crews hard.”

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

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Vancouver Fire Rescue Services Capt. Jonathan Gormick said Wednesday that investigators have determined the fire was “accidental in nature.”

“It appears to have started in an electrical room, or a compressor room, and overcome the occupant before he had the chance to escape,” he said.

Gormick said there is no indication of any unlawful activity, adding the victim was working late.

“This appears to be a case of just being at the wrong place at the wrong time.”