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Beloved Frenchies diner destroyed in three-alarm fire in Vancouver

Last Updated Oct 22, 2020 at 1:51 pm PST

Summary

A beloved diner has likely been destroyed by a three-alarm fire Thursday at Main Street and Broadway in Vancouver

Frenchies Montreal Smoked Meat, which opened at 2470 Main Street in 1967, appears to be at the centre of the fire

Main St. is currently closed in all directions and Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services is advising all to avoid the area

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A beloved diner has likely been destroyed by a three-alarm fire Thursday at Main Street and Broadway in Vancouver.

Frenchies Montreal Smoked Meat, which opened at 2470 Main Street in 1967 and known for its poutine, appears to be at the centre of the fire and was being doused by fire trucks.

A witness was nearby at Kingsgate Mall and saw the fire grow.

“And I looked across the street, and I could see black smoke,” said Don Gardener. “I walked along Broadway and huge flames were coming out of the back of the Frenchies restaurant. No fire trucks were here yet, or whatever.”

Another witness said Frenchies was a community hub.

“Their poutine was really good,” she said. “So, it’s sad to think that it’s not going to be there anymore.”

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services Capt. Jonathan Gormick confirmed one building has been gutted and said others will likely be left damaged.

“It’s yet to be determined how many have been affected,” he added. “I imagine the neighbouring building will have suffered at least heavy smoke damage, if not fire.”

 

Fire crews were using a trench-cut technique to isolate an “unburned building,” while “cooling three heavily damaged buildings with master streams and aerials from exterior.”

Main St. is currently closed in all directions and Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services is advising all to avoid the area.

“Those with respiratory issues should avoid area or remain indoors with windows closed,” the fire department says in a tweet.

The fire started around 10 a.m. and sent heavy smoke billowing into the air, with people in the surrounding area reporting seeing flames shooting from the mixed-use building on the northeast side of the intersection.

It’s unclear what caused the fire. Crews were trying to pinpoint the origin in order to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby buildings.

Broadway is also closed between Main St. and Kingsway. Main is shut down from Broadway to 7th Avenue, as well.

Expect delays around the area.

According to the Vancouver Police Department, the following roads are blocked: Main from E. 6 to E. 12; E. Broadway from Brunswick to Quebec.

“Traffic disruptions are expected to continue for a few hours and drivers are advised to avoid the area.”

Drivers can take 12th Avenue and Cambie Street as alternate routes.

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This is a developing story. Check back for updates.