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Explosions heard as large fire rips through underground parkade at UBC

Last Updated Mar 29, 2020 at 9:23 am PDT

FILE: A fire line and fire department vehicle.

Vancouver firefighters putting out a challenging fire in the parkade of a construction site at UBC

Assistant Fire Chief says they were called to area of 16th West Avenue and Westbrook Mall around 2:00 a.m.

While it's not clear what caused the fire, Assistant Fire Chief says flammable materials were at the contruction site

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — An early morning fire in UBC’s Westbrook Village had crews close off a stretch of Binning Rd at Birney Ave while they tackle the fire in the parkade of a construction site.

Assistant Fire Chief Dan Stroup says crews were called to the scene around 2:00 a.m. and arrived to hear an explosion amid heavy smoke and flames.

“While we were fighting the fire, the initial fire attack encountered heavy, heavy smoke and flames. And in the process, there was an explosion.”

During the fire, multiple explosions were set off, but one went off when crews were inside the building.

All members were able to evacuate safely.

“There was all sorts of different fire load and so we were not sure what was burning. But we do know there was propane tanks and a bunch of other construction materials,” Stroup says. “It was a very difficult, challenging fire.”

Stroup adds while the reason behind the explosions is not finalized, but the results of the investigation should be determined sometime Sunday.

Stroup says one person sustained minor injures.