Port Moody firefighters have a massive blaze in the city's historic downtown commercial district under control. The department reported on social media they had gained the upper hand on the fire shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday.
Fire crews are still engaged at Clarke St. fire but fire is under control. Clarke Street remains closed at this time. Please avoid the area. Hydro crews are on site, however it is not known when power will be restored to the area. #portmoodyhttps://t.co/SRWkInwpmW— City of Port Moody (@CityofPoMo) July 29, 2019
The buildings, in the 2400 block of Clarke Street include The Gallery Bistro, Silk Gallery — owned by Port Moody city councillor Zoe Royer — as well as a chocolate shop and a former recycling depot that was awaiting a new tenant.
Firefighters from Port Moody and Coquitlam are battling the blaze, and some nearby businesses, including the Burrard Public House were closed, as well as Clarke Street, to enable them to freely access the area.
At least two of the buildings are on the city’s heritage register, including the former Roe & Abernathy grocery store, at 2407-2409 Clarke St. Ironically, it was built to replace a block of buildings that had been destroyed by fire in 1912. The old P. Burns & Co. butcher shop, at 2419 Clarke St. is also in the row of buildings and currently houses Silk Art Gallery.
Some of the buildings have apartments on the second floor, but there are no reports of injuries or people trapped. According to posts on social media, bystanders helped business owners and apartment tenants evacuate some of their belongings.
The first reports of smoke hit social media late in the dinner hour. It was visible as far away as Burnaby.
Initial concerns were that the Flavelle Cedar Mill was ablaze, but a post on Twitter by Port Moody Fire and Rescue quickly corrected that.
So far, there are no reports of injuries.
— Mandy Stanhope (@mandystanhope) July 29, 2019
More to come