VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Five businesses are total losses as a massive fire continues to burn in Vancouver’s Cambie Village.
Fire crews are now trying to prevent the blaze, which is burning on the east side of Cambie Street between 24th Avenue and King Edward, from spreading.
It’s believed the fire started at the back of a café on the block around 2 a.m., but there’s no word yet on what sparked it.
So far, there have also been no reports of injuries.
DEVELOPING: Huge fire along Cambie in Vancouver. At least 5 businesses are a total loss. The road shut down between King Edward & W24th. Crews continue to battle the flames. @BT_Vancouver @CityNewsVAN @NEWS1130 pic.twitter.com/ciqbDgXU6b
— Greg Harper (@GS_Harper) October 15, 2020
The fire has shut down several blocks of Cambie, impacting businesses that have already been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fire started around 3 a.m. Thursday, and firefighters are set to be there all morning.
“I woke up to the same news my merchants are waking up to and the property owners,” Rania Hatz, the executive director of the Cambie Village Business Association, says. “It’s an older block, some of those buildings, so there’s a lot of concern.”
Hatz notes it’s an already-tough time for businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many already having shut down.
“[Businesses] are just barely trying to survive,” she said. “We have had assistance with the City of Vancouver to create a patio space in front of two of the businesses that will be affected … Even with that, the businesses are barely hanging on. We have one board member on that block and we as a business association rely on different businesses with space to store some products for us or store some things for us.”
There is a cat boarding facility on the block that’s been impacted by flames, but Hatz tells NEWS 1130 firefighters have been able to get the animals out safe.
Hatz says business owners are rushing to see if they’ve been impacted, but she admits it’s difficult to get down to the area at the moment.
Fire impacts on traffic
John Timms with the Vancouver Police Traffic Authority says flames were shooting 10 feet into the air at one point.
“It’s probably at least a three alarm fire right now. This is going to go through to the rush hour for sure,” he told NEWS 1130 earlier in the morning.
5:20 – #Vancouver @VanFireRescue pics of crews on scene to the fire along Cambie St at King Edward ave. Cambie is shutdown to traffic both ways from King Ed to 20th ave. They are also detouring northbound traffic at 29th ave until further notice. @NEWS1130 @JACK969van pic.twitter.com/crthfLM3v5
— NEWS 1130 Traffic (@NEWS1130Traffic) October 15, 2020
The King Edward SkyTrain station is also just across the street from the blaze.
Northbound traffic is shut down from 29th Avenue. Southbound traffic is blocked at 20th Avenue.
Northbound traffic is blocked from Kind Edward to 22nd Avenue, while a single lane is open southbound.
-With files from Mike Lloyd and Ryan Lidemark
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.