Fire officials say a Monday morning blaze inside a downtown apartment building killed a Vancouver man, the fourth fire-related death in just 24 hours in the city after a house fire killed claimed three family members the day before.
Assistant Chief Ken Gemmill says crews were called to the highrise around 6 a.m., finding flames and smoke coming from a fourth-floor unit with a man still inside.
He says crews rescued and worked to revive the man, who was suffering from extensive burns and smoke inhalation, but he was pronounced dead in hospital.
Gemmill says the burning unit didn’t have a balcony, but a woman managed to escape the flames by climbing out of the window and into a neighbouring suite.
He says he spoke to the woman before she was taken to the hospital, but he didn’t have further details on her condition.
Gemmill says the cause of the fire is under investigation and did not appear suspicious.
The building’s fire alarm system was functioning, he said in an interview, though as an older construction it didn’t have a sprinkler system and it wasn’t known if smoke detectors inside the suite were working.
No other residents were injured, he said, but 22 people have been displaced from their units due to fire or smoke damage.
Many of the same firefighters at the scene Monday had also responded to a blaze inside a home in the city’s east end that killed a child, their mother and grandfather around 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Gemmill added.