The life of one person was saved by Prince Rupert Fire Rescue Department (PRFRD) during a blaze that destroyed three business and more than 10 rental units in the downtown of the city on Oct. 5.
The PRFRD received the 9:20 p.m. call to attend the structure fire which was battled by fire crews until almost 7 a.m. on Oct. 6.
Chad Cooper, deputy fire chief, said upon arrival at the two-storey, mixed-occupancy building, crews did a 360 [ degree survey] around the scene to determine the extent of the fire. Grey pressurized smoke, as well as fire inside the the back door of the structure could be seen.
“A couple of the tenants, who had managed to self-evacuate, advised the captain that one person was unaccounted for. The firefighters quickly went into rescue mode,” Cooper said.
Firefighters were able to rescue the victim by climbing a ladder to the second floor, breaking a suite window and guiding the victim out.
“They experienced zero visibility while they were in there. They searched the room and found the missing occupant. They were able to guide them back to the window where the victim was able to be rescued down the ladder.”
The victim was treated at the scene and transported to hospital for observation.
All that remains of the corner, busy intersection building, is charred rubble after the fully-engulfed structure was bulldozed around 2 a.m. for safety.
“It wasn’t salvageable, so at that point we decided to pull it in on itself so we could get lots of water on it,” Cooper said. Radiating heat, extremely hot temperatures and blowing embers can create a danger to surrounding buildings.
“It is better that we knock it in right away,” Cooper said.
The investigation as to the cause of the blaze is underway.
For more details read full feature in The Northern View on Oct. 15.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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