Unusual attic design in Surrey apartment makes fire 'almost impossible' to put out, says chief
VANCOUVER -- Surrey firefighters are desperately trying to put out a three-alarm fire, more than 10 hours after they were called to the scene.
Firefighters were called to the scene of a fire in a four-storey residential building on 84th Avenue near 160th Street shortly before midnight on Friday night.
Although all visible flames have been tamped out, there’s still smoke coming from the attic, says Mark Griffioen, deputy fire chief.
“The construction of the attic … is making it almost impossible for us to put it out,” Griffioen told CTV News Vancouver on Saturday morning.
So far, no firefighters or residents have been injured, although many residents have been displaced. The fact that the fire is still going leaves Griffioen to wonder if the building, which has 56 apartments, will be salvageable.
“This is unusually difficult,” he said.
“I can’t imagine that it’s going to be a good situation.”
The roof is designed to keep water out, Griffioen said, so it’s hard to get water into the attic from outside. Firefighters tried to drill a hole in the roof to access the smoking area, but weren’t able to.
“It’s got a flat roof, but there’s some kind of construction around the attic that’s really hampering our progress,” he said.
It’s also not safe for firefighters to go at the attic from underneath, Griffioen said.
“Right now we don’t have any firefighters inside because of the damage,” he said.
Griffioen said he wasn’t able to say where the fire started and that once the fire was fully out, the cause will be investigated.