Investigators are on scene today (May 20) hoping to determine the cause of a second-alarm fire that blazed through a Coquitlam hotel.
Six different fire rescue units were dispatched to the Best Western Sure Stay hotel on Brunette Avenue near the Highway 1 overpass where a blaze broke out around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday (May 19).
During initial firefighting efforts, the second-alarm rate was determined and crews called in reinforcements to double their numbers in combatting the flames, which were extinguished before 8 p.m., according to tweets by the city of Coquitlam.
Fire Chief Jim Ogloff says there were no injuries to dozens of guests, workers or anyone in his personnel.
“They were able to contain the fire from extending in the roof structure itself,” he explained in an interview with Tri-City News.
Ogloff says the fire originated from a third-floor suite and crew members were able to reach that point to perform an aggressive attack while search teams were able to evacuate the whole building.
“We activated our emergency social services network that the city offers and folks were accommodated with accommodation vouchers,” he adds.
“That’s managed through the Emergency Management BC office. So, folks, those that chose to, were able to be accommodated last night.”
The city says alternate arrangements have also been made via Phoenix Society, for residents who had been living in rooms set aside for emergency response shelter beds on a floor of the hotel.
Although the fire did not start on the shelter floor, 36 people have been displaced.
A Phoenix spokesperson said housing has been found for residents who had been sheltered at the hotel, however, not in the Tri-Cities because there is no space and the only other shelter in Coquitlam is full.
As of this publication, there’s no estimated damage cost as experts continue their investigation.
Ogloff explains the hotel is going to require remediation considering the circumstances.
“Obviously, the unit itself has got some significant fire damage, there’s some roof damage, there’ll be some water damage to the unit below, some minor smoke [damage] that needs to be cleaned up from the corridors on the third floor.”
More to come...
- with a file from Diane Strandberg, Tri-City News