Two Campbell River firefighters were able to self-evacuate after they plunged through the floor of a burning apartment building Wednesday morning.
The flames broke out in a second-floor unit in the building at the corner of Dogwood Avenue and 9th Street around 4:15 am.
Smoke continued to billow from the structure all day as firefighters tried to contain it with two aerial ladder trucks and numerous firefighters on the ground.
Firefighters had to rescue four people when they arrived on the scene as the flames were spreading quickly. Three of the people were on their balconies.
“A lot of occupants didn’t evacuate on the sound of the alarms so we did rescue a few folks from the building. One was off a second-floor balcony, one from the fourth floor and another one from the bottom floor,” said Campbell River Fire Chief Thomas Doherty.
Doherty says firefighters were initially inside the apartment building conducting an offensive attack on the blaze when the two firefighters fell through the floor.
All firefighters were pulled out and it became a defensive attack from outside the building.
One person rescued from a Fourth-floor balcony was taken to hospital for observation.
The fire appeared to be contained by 3:00 pm in the afternoon.
Eighty-six residents are now being cared for by Emergency Social Services and are being put up at a local hotel.
Doherty says the building will be a complete write-off.
A Facebook page has been set up to help the victims.