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Massive, searing-hot fire destroys south Vancouver condo building under construction

Fire engulfs a four-storey condo building at West 62 Avenue and Columbia Street in south Vancouver on June 18, 2020.
Fire engulfs a four-storey condo building at West 62 Avenue and Columbia Street in south Vancouver on June 18, 2020. Wayne DeCoffe/Global News

Firefighters battled an intense fire that engulfed and destroyed a four-storey building under construction in south Vancouver Thursday evening.

Assistant operations chief Brian Bertuzzi told Global News that fire crews arrived at West 62 Avenue and Columbia Street at 5:45 p.m. and were greeted by the sight of flames shooting from the upper two floors.

Crews immediately went into defensive mode and upgraded it to a third-alarm assignment, Bertuzzi said, with their priority being to protect neighbouring properties from the searing heat and embers.

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“The amount of heat coming out of those third and fourth floors was unbelievable,” he said. “Radiant heat [from the main fire] penetrated into the roofline and reached that one (townhouse) unit.”

The intense heat burned through fire-hose lines in the back lane, scorched fences and cracked some windows in adjacent properties.

Some nearby rooftops also suffered damage from burning embers.

READ MORE: Up to 60 people displaced after ‘extensive’ Vancouver apartment fire

In all, there were no injuries reported.

The cause and origin of the fire is yet to be determined.

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Firefighters took about an hour to knock down the blaze, and spent the remainder of the evening chasing hot spots in the building.