Victoria firefighters work on a stubborn fire in the 2300-block of Cook St. this afternoon. The fire was first reported around 11:30 a.m. Thursday

Fire destroys unoccupied home at Cook and Empress streets in Victoria

Fire broke out around 11:30 a.m. in 2300-block of Cook St.; expect traffic delays all afternoon as Cook Street blocked to vehicles

One man is in custody after an abandoned building caught fire this morning in the 2300-block of Cook St.

The first 911 calls came in around 11:45 a.m. from the corner of Empress and Cook streets, said Victoria firefighter Tim Loewen.

“We sent in an initial attack crew, and at 12:03 p.m. crews discovered a fire showing in the attic,” Loewen said. Firefighters were in the process of knocking that fire down when crews noticed more flames and smoke from the floor below, Loewen said.

“At that time, the building was deemed unsafe,” he said. “It’s severely convoluted and blocked up inside, so it’s difficult getting to the fire.”

Loewen said fire crews inside the building spotted a man jumping out a window, who was soon apprehended by Victoria Police Department for an unrelated warrant.

“At this time, (VicPD) are holding the man in custody as a person of interest,” he said.

Laurie Peters, resident of the 1100-block of Empress Ave., said the smoke was so intense she believed the fire was in her own home.

“I woke up my son and told him we had to get out of the house,” Peters said. “It was scary.”

Fire crews approached surrounding neighbours to evacuate homes affected by the heavy smoke and water, and no one is thought to be inside the affected building.

Crews are still fighting the blaze and traffic is expected to be rerouted from the 2300-block of Cook St. for most of the afternoon.

More to come.

 

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

Just Posted

Victoria woman to sell masks on wheels after garage stand shut down

Mama’s Masks stand accompanied Moss Street Market

Greater Victoria non-profit advocates for the use of psilocybin for terminal patients

North Saanich psychotherapist pushes for alternative treatment

Gathering marks 10 years since nearly 500 asylum-seekers landed off Victoria shore

The 492 people fleeing violence, war crimes and genocide in Sri Lanka were detained for months

One person in custody after hours-long Cook Street standoff with barricaded robbery suspects

Victoria police say 2300-block of Cook Street has reopened to drivers

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Captive fawn seized from Island home

Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 11

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

Most Read