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One taken to hospital after fire at abandoned townhouse complex in South Vancouver

Smoke is seen coming out of an abandoned building on Cambie Street near Southwest Marine Drive on Saturday, June 15. (Courtesy: Corey Proulx/X) Smoke is seen coming out of an abandoned building on Cambie Street near Southwest Marine Drive on Saturday, June 15. (Courtesy: Corey Proulx/X)
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There were people living inside an abandoned townhouse complex in South Vancouver when a fire broke out Saturday morning, firefighters say.

Crews were called to the building near the intersection of Cambie Street and Southwest Marine Drive around 10:50 a.m. after reports of black smoke coming out of the complex, Brad Hesse, Asst. Chief of Operations with Vancouver Fire Rescue Services told CTV News.

When crews arrived, flames started to come out of the roof of the roughly 12-unit townhouse complex, which was boarded up and overgrown with bushes, he said.

About 36 firefighters were sent to the scene and entered the building and knocked down the fire’s source, but it had already taken hold of the roof.

Hesse said due to the building’s run-down condition, crews had to fight the roof fire defensively from the outside.

Reportedly, “many” people live inside the building, Hesse said. Firefighters saw one person flee the complex while they were working.

While searching the building, crews found another person trapped inside who had to be rescued.

The individual was “conscious and alert” but was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation, Hesse said. Firefighters didn’t locate any other residents inside.

VFRS called in the Vancouver Police Department to search the side of the building that was unaffected by the fire, but they also didn’t find anyone.

Firefighters remained on scene to clean up into the afternoon and the blaze is now under investigation.

Hesse added that people living in abandoned buildings is a common hazard in Vancouver, and cautioned people to be aware of any “unsecured vacant homes” in their area.

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