‘Extremely complex’ fire breaks out at Victoria condo building

Victoria Firefighters IAFF Local 730

A fire erupted at a Victoria condo building just north of the downtown core early Wednesday morning.

Photos show flames and smoke coming from the roof of the four-storey Lexington Park condo building, located at 689 Bay St., just after midnight.

Police, paramedics and firefighters were called to the scene, and the Victoria firefighters union (IAFF Local 730) says “every resource” available to the fire department was deployed, as well as one engine company from the Saanich Fire Department.

The union says the first firefighters to arrive at the scene found “tall flames lapping from the top-floor balcony and into the roof system.”

Story continues below

(Kiara Smyth)

Firefighters then went to work tackling the blaze from two directions with external hoses.

Meanwhile, a crew went inside the structure to douse the flames.

Once the fire was pushed back, firefighters decided to remove parts of the ceiling to better access the flames, and stop them from spreading further.

“After cutting a locked roof hatch, Engine 1’s crew gained access to the roof and cut trenches to stop the spread of fire,” said the union in a social media post Wednesday.

“After almost 4 hours, the fire was fully out. At this point, a ‘call-in’ crew was brought in to stay with the scene overnight, and Victoria Fire Inspectors began the task of determining the cause and origin of the blaze,” said the union.

Story continues below

The damaged roof of the building is shown. Feb. 14, 2024. (CHEK News)

The entire building was evacuated and several units were involved in the fire, according to firefighters.

BC Transit buses were called to the scene to help pick up the displaced residents and link them with Emergency Support Services.

Bruno Welte is still in shock after being evacuated along with 60 others.

“We looked out the window and we just saw a bright light outside. That made it real very quickly […] some of us just found out that we are basically without a home for a year,” said Welte.

As far as firefighters are aware, no one was injured.

“Overall, an extremely complex fire that tested our firefighters and leadership of our officers,” said the union.

SEE ALSO: ‘It went that quick’: Arson suspected in fire that sent people fleeing North Cowichan building

Adam ChanAdam Chan
Tchadas LeoTchadas Leo

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!