No one was injured after a heritage building in Victoria’s Burnside neighbourhood caught fire Sunday night, when vertical flames were seen shooting into “the still, windless, July night sky,” according to the Victoria Fire Department.
At 10:58 p.m. July 2, Victoria fire crews were dispatched to the building at 2531 Government St. for a report of a structure fire, and engine three was first on scene about four minutes later.
“Thankfully, no one was hurt in this fire as the building was under renovation, and had no occupants at the time,” the fire department said Monday.
Video footage sent to CHEK News shows the flames visible from James Bay as a large plume of smoke wafts into the air. In photos showing the aftermath, the building is extensively damaged and covered in black soot.
“Attacking from the Douglas Street side, Engine 3’s Deck Gun (a high-volume, roof-mounted water cannon) and a ground monitor were able to apply massive amounts of water very quickly,” reads Victoria Fire’s Instagram post.
They say additional firefighters then arrived within minutes, surrounding the blaze and working to mitigate the flames using an aerial water monitor and hand lines from neighbouring rooftops.
“Conveniently, the heritage building had good access on both Douglas Street and Government Street, as well as vantage points on the rooftops of the neighbouring buildings,” read the post. “Firefighters were able to protect the neighbouring buildings from the intense heat and prevent the spread of fire.”
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Victoria police were also called to the scene, and CHEK News has reached out to the detachment for more details.
The fire department says it didn’t take long for firefighters to extinguish the blaze. It says a call-in crew watched the scene overnight until the Victoria Fire Investigation Division arrived.
“Chief of Investigations and Prevention Megan Sabel has begun her assessment of the fire. At this point, it is still uncertain what caused the fire just meters from the recent Ricky’s Grill fire,” read the post. “This area of Victoria has definitely been through the wringer.”
It was around 3 a.m. on June 16 when emergency responders, including firefighters and police officers, were called to Ricky’s All Day Grill at 2900 Douglas St. for a report of a fire.
VicPD later confirmed the restaurant fire was arson as they asked for anyone with dashcam footage in the area to speak with officers.