Twenty people were forced out of their apartment in Nanaimo after a fire this morning, which officials deem suspicious.
Firefighters were called out the 600-block of Prideaux Street around 7 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 for what turned out to be a structure fire, said Nanaimo Fire Rescue Chief Tim Doyle. There was “extensive damage done to the back-side of the building.”
“It was orginally paged out as a dumpster fire,” Doyle told the News Bulletin. “When crews came on scene, [it] had extended to farther up the building and it involved multiple units above it.”
Doyle said residents were able to get out safely and firefighters were able gain control of the blaze, but the building suffered damage.
“Unfortunately, due to the amount of water damage from the sprinkler system and smoke damage, and having to shut off the electrical and gas, we do have the entire building evacuated until they can restore all the systems, fire alarm systems and make everything safe.”
Emergency support services assisted the residents and arrangements have been made, stated Doyle, who added the fire is suspicious, but there is currently nothing to suggest it is related to other recent fires in Nanaimo’s south end.
“The investigation is not done, so it would be remiss for me to start [making assumptions] … until our investigators have concluded their work, we just don’t know,” said Doyle.
The building was insured, noted Doyle.
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