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

Trio of Mission lacrosse talents sign with U.S. schools

Abbott, Adams and Bramley continuing lacrosse journey in NCAA

Sister of teen gunned down in 2014 aims to keep kids out of gangs

Jessica Sherman volunteers for KidsPlay Foundation in Abbotsford

Mission students, teachers help to create art work

Heritage Park Middle School unveiled A River of Belonging

Sanjay Gulati is leaving the Mission Community Services Society

Executive director taking a new position in Ireland

Judge questions joint submission for Chilliwack man who sexually assaulted girl

Crown, defence ordered to find case law to back up one-year sentencing for Andrew Mullaly

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

B.C., Ottawa talk 50/50 split on abandoned bus-route service

B.C. has paid $2 million on a bus service for the northern part of the province

VIDEO: Vanouver Giants come back to earn 4-3 overtime victory

Playing in Spokane for the second consecutive night, the G-Men triumph put them 3-1 in the playoffs

‘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

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Most Read