Vancouver firefighters battle two residential building blazes

Vancouver fire crews enter the top floor corner suite of a two-storey residential building on Granville Street and West 70th Avenue, where flames can be seen shooting from the roof Thursday evening. Arda Yazgan

Vancouver firefighters were stretched Thursday night, as they attended to two residential building fires simultaneously.

At 9:27 p.m. a call came in about a working fire that started in the kitchen of a top-floor suite of a two-storey walk-up apartment building on Granville Street at West 70th Avenue.

Assistant Fire Chief Ken Gemmill tells Global News fire crews arrived to find flames leaping out of a top floor window and the building’s roof.

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Twitter video courtesy of Arda Yazgan

Crews soon brought the fire under control, with fire damage limited to the single suite.

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Two occupants of that suite were sent to hospital for treatment, one for 2nd-degree burns and the other for smoke inhalation.

Vancouver fire crews and emergency services converge on Granville Street near West 70th Avenue to deal with a fire in a top floor suite of a residential building Thursday night. Aroya

The building’s other eight suites all suffered smoke and water damage, resulting in the building’s 25 occupants all being displaced.

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Minutes after that first fire call came in, Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services received word of another  fire at the former Biltmore Hotel, now a social housing building, at 395 Kingsway near Prince Edward Street.

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The former Biltmore Hotel on Kingsway, now operating as a supportive housing facility, was the scene of a fire that broke out in a sixth floor suite Thursday night. Global News

The fire apparently started in a sixth-floor suite of the hotel.

Fire damage to the suite was minimal, but the rest of the building took on a lot of water and smoke damage, displacing 20 of the Biltmore’s occupants.

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In all, some 45 Vancouver residents are out of their homes because of these two fires.

The city’s Emergency Support Services is working with those residents to find them suitable accommodation.

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