Four fire departments and more than 30 firefighters were on scene at a structure fire in Esquimalt on Sunday. It is believed that one person died in the fire. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

One believed dead after Greater Victoria house fire traps occupants

Crews perform multiple ladder rescues to save occupants

One woman is presumed dead after an apartment fire in the 800-block of Craigflower Road in Esquimalt – a community neighbouring Victoria – trapped multiple people Sunday afternoon.

At about 3:50 p.m., crews were called to a structure fire burning on the top floor of a four-storey apartment building in Esquimalt.

The first crews to arrive were informed there was a person trapped on the balcony of the fourth floor.

“The crew tried to make a quick rescue, unfortunately…it was an unsuccessful rescue,” said Esquimalt Fire Chief Chris Jancowski.

READ ALSO: Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Witnesses said there were people trying to help the woman during the early stage of the fire. Multiple people tried to get the woman to come down, using a blanket to encourage her to jump.

“I know that there was some civilians trying to assist that occupant on the fourth floor,” Jancowski said. “Any time civilians try to help civilians, in brave situations like this, it’s to be applauded. Their actions [to] try to coax, help her, assist her, it’s really appreciated.”

He said crews suspect the woman succumbed to the fire, but would not confirm until further investigations had been completed.

Crews also performed multiple ladder rescues of trapped occupants, but Jancowski said they don’t believe there are any serious injuries although there may have been some “small leg or arm injuries.”

Esquimalt Fire Department, CFB Esquimalt Fire, View Royal Fire Department and Victoria Fire Department were all on scene to assist with the blaze. More than 30 firefighters and four to five fire engines helped to douse the flames concentrated on the fourth floor, corner unit of the building.

The fourth floor of the building was severely damaged by fire and smoke, and the first, second and third floor may also have water damage.

Residents of the building will not be allowed back in tonight as crews investigate and clear the structure.

When asked what started the fire, Jancowski said it is still too early to tell.

“We’ll be in there tonight or tomorrow to try to figure out some of the other factors.”

READ ALSO: Woman admits to accidentally starting Dallas Road brush fire: Victoria Fire



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Gas venting from tanker at Castlegar rail yard posed no danger: officials

Argon gas discharged from a CP tanker car on Friday, April 19.

Carfentanil found for first time in Castlegar

Killer opiod found in local illegal drug market

Rossland’s Seven Summits school gets grant to grow global presence

Centre for Learning hopes to triple the number of international students it has

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

Rossland skiier places third at U19 Canadian Ski Cross

Rossland’s Sage Stefani finished out a successful season.

VIDEO: ‘Alarm bells’ raised by footage allegedly from B.C. pig farm, SPCA says

PETA released video Wednesday showing dead and injured piglets next to nursing piglets

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Many teens don’t know they’re vaping nicotine, Health Canada finds

Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey finds youth unaware of nicotine product risk

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man charged with daughters’ murders

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Tofino beckons Trudeau for quiet Easter vacation

Environmental group hopes latest Pacific Rim vacation inspires change in prime minister

B.C. man turned to dating site for pimp operation, court hears

In court the details of how Simon Rypiak lured 4 women into prostitution revealed

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

Most Read