Fire crews were called to Glenwood Community Centre in Port Alberni shortly after 5 p.m. for reports of a fire on the east side of the building. The centre was packed with children and adults with developmental disabilities from the Port Alberni Association of Community Living (PAACL), all celebrating Community Living Month with a fun fair.
“The fire alarm went off, we saw smoke and we called 911,” said Karen Freethy, recreation programmer with the City of Port Alberni. The building was evacuated as black smoke billowed out of a vent above the door to a handicapped washroom.
The fire department showed up quickly, Freethy added. “It went systematically.”
Deputy fire chief Wes Patterson wasn’t available for a comment and crews were still trying to determine the origin of the smoke.
No one will be allowed back in the building tonight, Freethy said.