A fire broke out Thursday at a vacant Nanaimo building that has previously been deemed a nuisance by the city due to complaints of squatting and open drug use.
Crews were called to the empty glass-front commercial building at 1045 Terminal Avenue, next to Manvirros Indian Grill, just before 2 p.m. Thursday, according to Nanaimo Fire Rescue Chief Tim Doyle.
When the initial crew arrived, they found flames showing from the left side interior of the building.
The crew extended a hose line and knocked down the exterior flames before forcing entry on the right side of the building.
Inside, they were able to knock down the remaining fire and searched the building, finding it to be empty.
The all-clear was given at 3:22 p.m. The cause of the fire is currently undetermined and is being investigated by a fire loss prevention officer.
Doyle stated that the building has been boarded up and that it was fortunate the fire was called in during daytime hours, as it could have been a bigger issue if it was discovered later in the evening.
The property had previously been declared a nuisance property by the City of Nanaimo after RCMP noted it was linked to 11 police calls for service between January 2021 and May 2022.
Complaints called in involved squatters, open drug use, garbage and human feces being left behind, according to a letter to the city from Nanaimo RCMP’s detachment commander.
The same building was also the site of a December 2021 arson that caused minor damage.