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Overnight fire destroys 4 apartments, 4 businesses in Kerrisdale

A massive fire in Vancouver's Kerrisdale neighbourhood that broke out Sunday night has completely destroyed four apartments and four businesses, according to officials.

The third alarm blaze broke out on West 41st Avenue around 10 p.m. and 55 firefighters responded, according to Vancouver Fire Rescue Services Asst. Chief Keith Stewart. One firefighter had to be taken to hospital with minor injuries and another was injured and treated on site.

"We had five businesses that were affected by this fire. Four of them are a complete and total loss. We're going to have an excavator come and we're going to have these four businesses torn down here shortly," Stewart told CTV News Monday morning.

"Our fire investigations unit is on scene, they're trying to ascertain what caused the fire but there's such heavy fire involvement and damage that it's is actually impossible for them to go inside," he added.

Jeroen Boss lives in the building next door and told CTV News that he and his family were evacuated just after 9:30 p.m.

“Grabbed the family, grab the cats, alert the neighbors, give them a five-minute limit and grab our essentials,” Boss said. “You don't have time to think, it was pretty scary. It settled in later, that’s when you start to realise your life is gone, or potentially gone.”

Boss said he and his family watched from the street as flames grew up to nine feet high.

“It was about 3 in the morning when the entire second storey of that building, which is four apartments, collapsed into the frame,” he said. “I feel very fortunate that my building is still standing.”

Four businesses on the street level were destroyed: Nando’s, Deer Island Bakery, Yummy Yoghurt and Sandy’s Market. Pho Tan Vietnamese Restaurant suffered severe damage.

Matthew Nguyen said his family had been running Pho Tan for 15 years. He and his two sisters were called about the fire Sunday night, and returned Monday morning to assess the damage.

“I got here about 10:30 and the fire was just a small one, just above the bakery,” Nguyen said. “There was a lot firefighters here and they couldn't contain it and it just kept burning all the old wood.”

Their business has substantial water damage inside, according to Nguyen, adding that his parents were overseas on their first vacation in years.

“We texted them, we’ve been in contact with them. We don’t really want them to worry, just enjoy their time and come back when they’re ready,” he said.

Nguyen’s sister, Christina, said they’re thankful the business wasn’t a total loss.

“This neighborhoods amazing ‘cause we’ve always been a community so it’s a little devastating right now having all these businesses affected,” she said.

It’s not known how the fire started but Nguyen said renovations had just finished in the second floor units, which collapsed.

Residents from two units are now staying with family or friends, while three other residents received assistance from emergency social services to find shelter.

A massive fire in Vancouver's Kerrisdale neighbourhood broke out on Oct. 1, 2023. (Photo submitted by Tricia Barker)

Vancouver Fire Rescue Services Chief Karen Fry shared an image of a third-alarm fire in Kerrisdale on Oct. 1, 2023. (Image credit: Twitter/Karen_Fry)

Firefighter on the scene of a blaze in Kerrisdale on Oct. 1, 2023. (Photo sumbitted by Tricia Barker) Top Stories

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