VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Investigators with Vancouver Fire Rescue are expected to be on scene today following a deadly house fire in the early morning hours.
Crews were called out at around 4 a.m. to a two-storey home in the area of Elliott Street and 47th Avenue to respond to a two-alarm blaze.
A man, believed to be in his 70s, has died in an early morning house fire around Elliott St./47th Ave. in #Vancouver. When crews arrived they couldn’t find the man right away. Unclear if the smoke alarms were working. The victim was living in a basement suite.
— Sonia Aslam (@SoniaSAslam) February 18, 2018
Vancouver Fire Assistant Chief Kevin Wilson says the man was living in one of two living quarters in the basement and there was some confusion about where he may have been. They tried to wade through the heavy, dense smoke to get to him, but it was too late.
“Occupants were out from the upper floor. They mentioned there was an elderly male that was missing from the basement. The crews initiated fire attack and went in. They performed a rescue and they did bring the elderly male out to the backyard where the BC Ambulance crew and a fire crew worked on him for approximately an hour.”
Wilson says despite their efforts, the man passed away. “The fire was contained to that suite of origin. At this point, the fire investigator is still on scene and he will determine the cause and the origin.”
He explains there is some relation between the victim and the people living upstairs.
“We arrived on the scene and were given direction from the people living upstairs but the information wasn’t completely accurate as to where the person was sleeping. [Crews] entered one side and found the member on the opposite side of the basement. He lived in a basement suite and was some form of a relative of the family but was not living with them upstairs and they did not know the exact location of where he was sleeping downstairs.”
Wilson points out it’s incredible no one else was hurt and credits his team for keeping the flames contained to just one area of the home. “The other occupants from upstairs got out. It was a fast and aggressive fire attack, but unfortunately, we still have a fatality.”
He says it’s unclear if there were smoke alarms in the home and if they were working — that will make up part of the investigation.