Three departments responded to a structure fire in the 2600-block of Richmond Road early Friday morning. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Three departments responded to a structure fire in the 2600-block of Richmond Road early Friday morning. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

UPDATED: One person dead and two in hospital after morning apartment fire in Saanich

Residents were evacuated shortly after 4 a.m. Friday

Saanich Fire Department has confirmed one person died in an early morning fire Friday.

A resident was found unresponsive in the hallway of an apartment complex and later succumbed to injuries. Two other residents were taken to hospital with unconfirmed injuries and officials are unable to confirm the number of residents affected at this time.

According to Saanich Det. Sgt. Damian Kowalewich, the deceased is a woman in her 60s.

Saanich Police Detectives and the BC Coroner’s Service are investigating the death of the woman found inside the building by Saanich Fire members during their initial suppression efforts. The circumstances surrounding her death are still under investigation.

Several residents had to be rescued from their fourth-floor balconies said Saanich’s Assistant Deputy Fire Chief Rob Heppell, adding several residents also suffered from smoke inhalation and were treated by BC Ambulance Services.

Residents reported seeing “massive” flames coming from the top storey of an apartment building in the 2600-block of Richmond Road near Haultain Street for upwards of 45 minutes.

Nishi Lakhwara, a resident of the building, said she was evacuated at around 4:20 a.m. and by 5 everyone in the building had been evacuated.

“We were hoping it would not flame up as much as it did, but it just kept on flaming up,” she said. “We stood around and saw the flames for about 45 minutes.”

The building had a practice drill shortly before this fire and Lakhwara credits that drill for getting everyone out safely.

“We knew the procedures quite well but I think we were pretty quick to come down and that was the catch,” she noted.

Heppell said there will be extensive water and smoke damage, especially to four suites on the fourth floor that were directly affected by the fire.

Victoria, Oak Bay, and Saanich fire crews were on scene. Residents are expected to be displaced for several hours but an emergency reception centre has been set up at the recreation centre nearby.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation and emergency support services will be provided to the affected residents.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Three departments responded to a structure fire in the 2600-block of Richmond Road early Friday morning. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Three departments responded to a structure fire in the 2600-block of Richmond Road early Friday morning. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Just Posted

Forty-two residential properties in Oak Bay were assessed the speculation and vacancy tax in 2019 for a total of $693,000. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
74 Oak Bay property owners paid $693,000 in spec tax

42 properties were assessed with the SVT in 2019

Staff at Artemis Place Secondary were shocked to find that one of the student-built greenhouses on the campus was stolen overnight on Jan. 11. (Artemis Place Society/Facebook)
Saanich school hopes to catch greenhouse thief red-handed

Student-built greenhouses stolen from Artemis Place Secondary on Jan. 11

Rendering shows murals decorating the proposed tiny home community in the Caledonia/Vancouver street parking lot next to Royal Athletic Park. (Courtesy Aryze Developments)
Tiny homes project on Victoria parking lot gets boost from council

Shipping container neighbourhood stems from Aryze Development idea

Jail cell - Reporter file photo
Two of Greater Victoria’s most notorious teenaged killers have parole privileges extended

Derik Lord gets overnight privileges while Kelly Ellard’s are extended

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. find its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 12

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

50 km/hr speed limit sign.
POLL: What do you think the speed limit should be on residential streets without a centre line?

Traffic on side streets around Greater Victoria could soon be travelling at… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials says it will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Letisha Reimer died Nov. 1, 2016 after being stabbed at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
No evidence that killer was in ‘psychotic state’ during Abbotsford school stabbing: Crown

Second day of closing arguments at ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing for Gabriel Klein

Jackie Hildering, whale researcher with the Marine Environment Research Society, and Nanaimo Area Land Trust will present the Return of Giants, a webinar about the humpback whales’ return from the brink of extinction and how boaters can help protect them. (Jackie Hildering/MERS photo taken under Marine Mammal License MML-42)
‘Return of the Giants:’ B.C. getting 2nd chance to coexist with humpback whales

‘Marine Detective’ partners with Nanaimo stewardship group on webinar

Seiners fill the waters between Comox and Nanoose Bay during roe herring fishery. file photo, Pacific Wild
Quota debate heats up on the eve of Vancouver Island herring fishery

Industry and conservationists weigh in how much catch should be allowed as DFO decision coming soon

Most Read