Skip to content

UPDATE: Apartment fire breaks out in downtown PoCo

Residents of an apartment in the 2200-block of Atkins Avenue in Port Coquitlam have yet to return to their homes after fire ripped through the building last Thursday night.

Residents of an apartment in the 2200-block of Atkins Avenue in Port Coquitlam have yet to return to their homes after fire ripped through the building last Thursday night.

Investigators believe that unattended candles are likely what caused the fire, which broke out in a third-story unit shortly before 10 p.m.. PoCo deputy chief Alan Nicholson said the flames were contained the one apartment, however smoke and significant water damage impacted surrounding suites.

"They managed to keep everything contained which was a great save," he said. "It could have easily spread to other parts of the building."

Residents were quickly evacuated and spent the weekend at the PoCo Inn and Suites. They were allowed to in to the building on Tuesday to retrieve their belongings, however Nicholson could not say when the occupants could return for good.

"It will be a while yet," he said. "The apartment has been turned over to the owner and it is their responsibility to bring the building back up to conditions were people can move back in."

One of the occupants of the unit where the fire originated was burned when she went back into the unit to retrieve a cat. She was treated and later released.

Two other individuals who were believed to be in the unit when the fire started, had originally left the scene. Nicholson said they also returned later and were questioned by police and fire investigators.

Fire fighters worked for over an hour on the blaze, battling through thick smoke to bring the flames under control. Nicholson said because of the extreme heat, crews had difficulty getting into the suite when they first arrived on the scene.

He reminded the public to be careful when using open flames in their homes and to never leave candles unattended.

"People need to be cautious," he said. "Especially when using candles or cigarettes in their suites."

gmckenna@tricitynews.com