Emergency crews were in the 1500-block of Vidal Street in White Rock Tuesday evening, for an apartment fire. (Garry Wolgemuth photo)

Emergency crews were in the 1500-block of Vidal Street in White Rock Tuesday evening, for an apartment fire. (Garry Wolgemuth photo)

Apartment fire ‘very close to becoming a much bigger incident’

White Rock blaze not suspicious: deputy fire chief

A fire in a fourth-floor White Rock apartment Tuesday evening caused significant damage but no injuries, the city’s deputy fire chief said.

Ed Wolfe said the blaze displaced residents of the four top-floor units in the 1520 Vidal St. building – but was on the verge of having an even greater impact.

“It was very close to becoming a much bigger incident,” Wolfe told Peace Arch News Wednesday morning. “It was very hot in the suite and very smoky – couldn’t see a foot in front of your face, from what I’m told.

“It never vented out a window, but it was just at that stage where it easily could’ve. I have to give full kudos to the first arriving crew, they did a great job to contain it.”

Emergency crews were called to the scene just before 6 p.m. Tuesday, after the building’s alarms went off and a second-floor resident reported a smell of smoke.

Firefighters investigating found the fire in a unit Wolfe said is home to a family of four. The residents were not home at the time, he added.

He said the apartment sustained “considerable damage,” while the three neighbouring units suffered minor smoke damage.

The building was evacuated while crews dealt with the fire; residents of the first three floors were allowed to return around 9 p.m.

Wolfe said members of the city’s emergency social services team were at the scene to assist the residents. Fire crews remained until midnight, and were to return Wednesday to try and determine cause, Wolfe said.

“No obvious sign (of the fire’s cause at the time), but we can say it’s not suspicious,” Wolfe said.

Fire crews remained at the scene until midnight.