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2nd fire at Vancouver apartment building likely caused by squatters, firefighters say

For the second time in as many months, a fire broke out at an East Vancouver apartment building Wednesday.

According to Vancouver Fire Rescue Services, the fire at 414 East 10th Ave. broke out around 8:30 a.m.

The department says it put the blaze out quickly and nobody was hurt – a far less consequential outcome than the fire that tore through that same building in late July, displacing 70 people. 

There are concerns about how it began, however. Fire Chief Karen Fry said they believe it was started by people who were squatting there illegally.

"This property needs to be secured against unauthorized entry with no access to outside people, or people living or squatting indoors,” she told CTV News.

That discovery has sparked frustration for individuals like Taylor Calhoun, who was among the 70 people forced to flee in July.

She now lives just down the street, and says she’s noticed suspicious activity for a while now.

"Walking by every night we see people actively going in and out, there's virtually no security,” she said.

“As far as protecting the surrounding buildings and people, I feel like it should be taken into account, not so much the building’s safety, but for the people around it,” she continued.

In a statement to CTV News, a city spokesperson said Vancouver is "continuing to support the tenants impacted by the fire in July but is not currently patrolling the building."

"The building owner is responsible for security. The City stepped in to provide some assistance in setting up initial security protocols following the first fire as the owners did not, however responsibility is fully with the building owner," the spokesperson added.

CTV News reached one of the owners, Fu Ren, who also goes by Henry, by phone Wednesday.

He told us he did not believe it should be his responsibility to provide security.

Ren and his co-owner Feng Yan are facing legal action by the city, which claims they violated 20 separate fire safety regulations last year.

Those allegations have not been proven in court. Top Stories

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