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Cleanup begins after demolition of burned Winters Hotel in Vancouver, city says

Two bodies found in rubble more than a week after the April 11 fire
A large-scale fire broke out in a structure at the corner of Abbott and Water streets in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood April 11. (Credit: Matt Piercy)

The City of Vancouver says the ruins of a low-income hotel destroyed by fire earlier this month have been fully demolished.

It says work can now begin to clean up the area around the Winters Hotel, where two bodies were found more than a week after the April 11 fire.

In the days after the fire, the property manager said it was believed that all of the residents had escaped the blaze, which also left five people injured.

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services has said the fire was sparked accidentally by unattended candles.

The department has also said it was too dangerous for crews to reach the area where the fire started when they first began fighting the flames, so it couldn’t be determined if the building was empty.

The city says the demolished materials will remain at the site in the Gastown neighbourhood for the next two weeks, but it would work to open as much of the sidewalk and street as possible to support surrounding residents and businesses.

BC Housing said last week that permanent homes had been found for 70 residents displaced by the fire.

—The Canadian Press

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