Fatal fire at East Vancouver warehouse deemed accidental
VANCOUVER - Fire investigators say a warehouse fire that claimed the life of a 65-year-old man in East Vancouver started in an electrical room, and that the smoke and fumes likely overwhelmed the victim before he realized what was happening.
The fire began around 9:30 p.m., on the second floor of a food preparation business on Pandora Street near Commercial Drive.
According to Asst. Chief Trevor Connelly of the Vancouver Fire Rescue Service, when firefighters first arrived, they saw light smoke coming from the rear of the building near the roof.
“Crews entered the building from the front, made their way to the upper floors in order to find the fire,” said Connelly. “They were faced with zero visibility conditions, extreme heat temperatures and they found a gentleman, brought him out, and they performed CPR on him.”
CTV News cameras captured first responders frantically working to save the man for nearly 20 minutes before he was pronounced deceased.
The fire was eventually upgraded to a third alarm and more than 50 firefighters worked for three to four hours to put out the blaze.
Fire investigators spent the night at the warehouse gathering evidence.
Vancouver Fire Rescue Service could not say for certain if the electrical wiring and equipment were up to code, saying that will require more forensic examination.
Wednesday morning, a Forensic Identification Unit from the Vancouver Police Department arrived at the warehouse and officers with cameras could be seen going inside the building.
A VPD spokesperson later told CTV News, nothing indicates criminal activity played a role in this fire and officers were simply assisting fire investigators after initially being called the night before when the man was found inside.
The name of the deceased man has not been released.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Jordan Jiang