30 seniors evacuated from facility after East Vancouver fire
Published Sunday, March 20, 2016 2:50PM PDT
Last Updated Sunday, March 20, 2016 6:51PM PDT
Seniors at a residential care facility in East Vancouver were evacuated from the building early Sunday morning after a fire broke out.
Around 4 a.m. flames erupted on the side of the Villa Carital senior’s home on South Grandview Highway and Penticton Street.
Around 30 seniors needed help escaping the flames in the affected parts of the building, said Vancouver Fire Rescue Services Deputy Chief Brian Godlonton.
“We’ve got 19 ambulances on scene, and we’re doing our best to get everyone out as soon as possible,” Godlonton said at the time of the third-alarm fire.
Three residents went to hospital to be checked out, but no one was injured in the blaze.
Officials in the area monitored air quality, and by mid-morning all of the seniors had safely returned home.
Anna Barbato, Villa Carital care director, said only the two front units were affected in the fire, and the other four were not evacuated.
“All our residents are safe,” she said, noting that the blaze appears to have begun in the kitchen area. “We’re really blessed… everybody’s back on site, healthy and having their breakfast.”
Gerry O’Neil’s mother-in-law is in her mid-80s, and lives at Villa Carital. He rushed to see her after seeing media reports of the fire Sunday morning.
“It’s still really, really smelly… but they have a great team and they’re all on it as I speak,” said O’Neil, noting his mother-in-law is in good spirits.
“I teased her a little bit, I thought it was her fault for wanting to have the firefighters, the calendar boys,” he added, laughing. “But she said no, not this time.”
An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Nafeesa Karim