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Crews battle 2nd commercial building fire of the day in Vancouver

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Firefighters were called to a blaze at a commercial business in East Vancouver for the second time in less than 12 hours Saturday afternoon.

At 3:35 p.m., Vancouver Fire Rescue Service Chief Karen Fry tweeted that crews were responding to a second-alarm fire in the 500 block of East Hastings Street.

An image accompanying the tweet shows smoke billowing out of a one-storey building in the middle of the block between Jackson and Princess avenues.

The engulfed building appears to be the former Uncle Henry's Restaurant, which Google Maps lists as permanently closed.

Speaking to reporters at the scene, VFRS Assistant Chief of Operations Brad Hesse said crews found the building unoccupied and no injuries had been reported.

Hesse added he expected residents of the single-room occupancy building next door to the fire to be able to return to their units as soon as crews were finished at the scene.

"We're very fortunate that side of the building – the apartment building – is all cinder block walls with no windows on it," Hesse said. "So, fortunately, we have very little to no smoke damage inside at this time." 

Earlier in the day Saturday, crews were called to a fire at a grocery store in the 700 block of East Broadway. That blaze forced the evacuation of residents from apartments on the building's upper floors, and caused minor injuries to one firefighter. 

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