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Blaze prompts evacuation at Coquitlam's only permanent homeless shelter

Coquitlam firefighters were called to the scene of a fire in a single unit at the 3030 Gordon shelter and transition housing facility; No one was injured and residents will be able to return to their rooms

A homeless shelter located on the Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam border is grappling with the aftermath of a fire that broke out in a single unit on the third storey of the building.

Residents have been evacuated from the 3030 Gordon shelter and firefighters continue to search for possible extensions of the fire, although the main blaze has been put out.

No injuries have been reported, according to deputy chief Scott Young, who said the call came in at 9:42 a.m. Friday morning.

As many as 23 firefighters were at the scene in numerous vehicles according to the deputy chief, who said the fire was "knocked down" within the hour.

"Firefighters are still searching for extensions, they're making sure it didn’t extend to any other part of the building," he said.

A city bus was provided to allow people to stay warm, said a spokesperson for Raincity Housng and Support Society.

Bill Briscall said no one will be displaced by the fire and everyone will have a place to stay with the person in the burned unit allowed to stay in the dorm room.

"We will be able to accommodate everyone," said Briscall. 

The building can house up to 70 people — 30 in longer term transition housing, 30 in individual rooms while they wait for more permanent housing and five women and five men in dorm rooms where prior to COVID-19 up to 10 men and 10 women could stay in each dorm.

"We are very happy that everyone is fine and that we can keep everyone inside and nobody is needing to be rehoused at this time," Briscall said.