Aftermath of fire on Third Avenue on June 12. Because of the houses’ proximity, two caught fire and suffered damage. (Terry St. Pierre / The Northern View)

UPDATE: No injuries in Third Avenue Fire, investigation underway

Prince Rupert’s Pacific Inn sustained water damage in the basement and smoke on ground floor

Prince Rupert’s firefighters continue securing the scene, searching for any potential hot spots left over from the Third Avenue fire, which has collapsed one house and damaged two others.

No one was injured in the fire, confirmed Jeff Beckwith, deputy fire chief. He said people were occupying two of the three buildings but were not on scene when the fire began.

On Wednesday evening, June 12, at 6:18 p.m., Prince Rupert’s firefighters received a call for a single family residence fire on Third Avenue West. Well into Thursday morning they continued to snuff the fire that had engulfed three houses.

“The first house was fully engulfed and venting from the rear. It was a very active burn, a quick burn,” Beckwith said.

Prince Rupert’s firefighters worked late Wednesday night and early into Thursday morning, June 12-13, to put out the fire on Third Avenue by the Pacific Inn. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

READ MORE: Blaze consumes homes on Third Avenue West

An investigation will begin as soon as they confirm that the houses have completely cooled down and are not at risk of setting ablaze.

“At this point we have no clue what caused the fire and won’t know that until we begin the investigation,” he said.

Beckwith said it took four hours to put out the main blaze of the fire, but the crew had to continue putting out hot spots from the metal roof well into Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.

The first house, closest to the Pacific Inn, suffered a structural collapse toward the hotel.

(Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

“We had two tactics going in. One was to protect the inn from catching fire, so we set up a protective stance there,” Beckwith said.

The Pacific Inn, suffered water damage at the basement level and light smoke throughout the upper floor but Beckwith said it should be back in operation late Thursday afternoon.

Occupants of the inn were evacuated and staff found rooms for them in other hotels around town.

The fire eventually extended from the first house to the last two because of their close proximity. Beckwith said access was difficult and the metal roofing made it dangerous for firefighters to enter the building.

(Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

“It was very intense but we saved it through aggressive fire tactics,” he said.

The Fisherman’s Hall is closed due to smoke damage and they are waiting to hear back from their insurance company to see when they would be able to reopen. The Unemployed Action Centre Society and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are housed in the building.

Thirteen firefighters were on scene. Beckwith said the job was able to get done with the support of the RCMP, Public Works, BC Ambulance, PNG, and BC Hydro.

READ MORE: Why cancer is deadlier than fire for firefighters


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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