New Westminster News Leader

Fire 'potential was massive'

An apartment fire on McBride Boulevard on Saturday evening was prevented from causing some serious damage to the area if it wasn't for some firefighters being proactive, said New Westminster deputy fire chief Brent Wisheart on Monday.

The initial call came around 6 p.m. for a fire in the kitchen of a suite on the first floor at 845 McBride, a five-storey wood-frame building.

Wisheart said while a crew battled the blaze in suite 103 on the bottom floor, others went up to 203 and 303 and found the fire had reached those apartments as well. They were able to put out the fires there before it reached the fourth floor. He said the NWFD has frequently been called to the building and two neighbouring blocks over the years so they knew there weren't any fire stops built in between suites and floors. With venting, chutes and plumbing ducts that go up to the roof, fire can spread rapidly.

"That was a huge save for that building because if it had gone up to the top floor it could have spread throughout the building. The potential was massive," said Wisheart.

Northbound traffic on McBride was closed down to allow the department to stage its vehicles, as well as Mott Crescent behind the building for the aerial platform truck and ambulance.

Wisheart said investigators were still working on the blaze's cause on Monday. There was no estimate of damage.


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