Two escape as blaze claims auto dealership

South Surrey neighbouring businesses closed temporarily due to smoke in the 2300-block of King George Boulevard

A South Surrey car dealership and auto wash was reduced to little more than a frame Wednesday morning, in a blaze that collapsed a floor and forced firefighters to retreat.

The fire at DJ Auto Market and Super Suds Car Wash, at 2377 King George Blvd., broke out just before 2 a.m., and at its height, 26 firefighters were working to bring it under control.

Damage was such that as of mid-morning Wednesday, crews had not been able to thoroughly search the building – which had an upstairs suite – however, injuries were not suspected.

“We believe the tenants are all out… and accounted for,” battalion Chief Gary McHarg told Peace Arch News at the scene. “At this point, we don’t believe there’s anybody inside.”

Officials confirmed Thursday that two people were in the suite when the fire broke out; both escaped unharmed before firefighters arrived.

McHarg said crews were alerted to the blaze by a Surrey RCMP officer who was in the area, heard a noise and found the fire.

When firefighters arrived, a vehicle was on fire at the front of the building and flames were extending up into the building.

It’s unclear if the fire started in the building and spread to the vehicle, or vice versa, McHarg said.

While crews initially attacked the fire from inside the burning building, they quickly had to resort to a defensive strategy.

“We had a significant interior upper collapse of the floor,” McHarg said, describing the fire as “very fast-spreading.”

Damage to the business was extensive.

The smell of smoke in the area remained thick for several hours Wednesday and at least two neighbouring businesses – White Rock Dance Studio and Seung-ri Black Belt Academy – had to close for the day due to smoke damage.

Andrew Vonk, manager of that building, told PAN he was alerted to the blaze at 4:30 a.m., after it triggered smoke alarms in the dance studio. Fire crews at that time told him not to come to the scene for safety reasons.

“They said the smoke was just so bad,” Vonk said.

Seung-ri instructor Joni Coombs said that when she arrived at work, the smoke was too intense to stay inside.

Fire crews spent most of Wednesday attending to hot spots, and a fire investigator was on scene in an effort to determine what sparked the blaze. As of Thursday morning, the cause remained unknown.

 

Just Posted

South Surrey church members ‘praying for accused mother… for the whole process’

Lisa Batstone’s second-degree murder trial continues this week in B.C. Supreme Court

City will ask Fraser Health to remove pay parking at SMH, Surrey councillor says

Surrey’s new council has already made parking free on neighbouring city streets

Health and Technology District breaks ground on new building

City Centre 3 is the third of eight planned buildings: Lark Group

Spawning salmon returning to North Delta’s Cougar Creek

It’s early in the season, but the streamkeepers are hopeful it could be a good year for returns

Surrey White Rock Ringette Association ‘excited’ about world championships coming to Lower Mainland

Ringette Canada says the sport has reached record registration numbers

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Giants serve up major defeat to Pats at Langley Events Centre

On the ice, Vancouver G-Men wrap up home stand with a 10-4 win over Regina Friday night.

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

New chair of Metro Vancouver board is Burnaby councillor

The 40-person board is made up of elected officials from 21 cities and one First Nation

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Most Read