Fire tears through seniors' home in North Vancouver
Eight people were taken to hospital after a large fire broke out at a seniors' home on the North Shore Tuesday.
Crews from District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services were dispatched to the Lions Manor facility in Deep Cove at around 1 p.m. to battle the blaze.
"When we got on scene, there was one if not two units fully involved with fire," Deputy Fire Chief Wayne Kennedy told CTV News. "Right off the bat, when we got on scene, we had multiple people on balconies, so obviously for us our first priority was to get them to safety."
Aerial footage from CTV's Chopper 9 showed a thick plume of smoke rising from the building as a group for 35 to 40 firefighters sprayed water on the blaze from all angles.
Kennedy said members of his team had to use ladders to rescue several people trapped on their balconies.
"I was just on the other side of the building and essentially what I ended up seeing was a guy on the roof screaming on the phone and plumes of essentially black, heavy smoke coming out through the front," said Daniel Hanhausen, a Deep Cove resident who witnessed the blaze.
Hanhausen added that he saw people jumping out of windows as he himself tried to get to safety. While he wasn't in the seniors' home, he was worried the fire would spread to neighbouring buildings.
All 66 residents of the seniors' home had been accounted for and assessed by paramedics by about 4:15 p.m., according to tweet from Emergency Health Services.
North Vancouver RCMP said there haven't been any deaths or serious injuries reported. Those transported were all in stable condition, according to EHS.
"Several people have been treated for smoke inhalation," Sgt. Geoff Harder said. "We're currently providing assistance to the residents who have been displaced."
Kennedy said firefighters from the City of North Vancouver and West Vancouver were also on scene to help.
"This is a big fire for us and we need all the help we can get," he said.
The cause of the blaze hasn't been confirmed, but Harder said there's no indication yet that it is suspicious.
Kennedy said parts of the units where the fire originated have collapsed, making it difficult for crews to target areas that are still burning.
It's unclear if or when residents will be able to return to the facility.
North Shore Emergency Management has warned people in the surrounding area that air quality is "extremely poor" as a result of the fire.
"Please shut all doors and windows and remain indoors if possible," the agency said in an emergency update.
Authorities also asked drivers to avoid travelling into Deep Cove if they can to make sure emergency vehicles had as much space as possible to access the scene.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Penny Daflos
Paramedics have transported eight people away from the Lions Manor seniors' home in stable condition as firefighters continue battling a fire that broke out Tuesday afternoon: https://t.co/tuSmUjOv1r pic.twitter.com/4GY3SDEy4Y— CTV Vancouver (@CTVVancouver) July 24, 2018
Witnesses say firefighters have rescued several residents from a fire at the Lions Manor seniors' home in Deep Cove. No word yet on potential injuries. pic.twitter.com/iltoQGajTq— CTV Vancouver (@CTVVancouver) July 24, 2018