One person is dead and several others have been displaced after fire ripped through the bottom floor of a four-plex on Monday afternoon.
Emergency crews from Alberni, Sproat Lake and Beaver Creek responded to the rental unit on Third Avenue and Melrose Street at 3:47 p.m., Port Alberni fire chief Tim Pley said.
“The structure had heavy smoke pouring out of it and flames were showing in the lower suite so it was fully involved,” Pley said.
The lower suite was emitting extreme heat so firefighters fought the blaze defensively by pouring water on it from outside, he said. Fire crews were still on the scene at 6:30 p.m.
Pley confirmed that one person was found dead in the lower suite, but he could not confirm if the person was male or female, he said.
Although the victim wasn’t identified by fire or police, area residents say it was a female in her 60’s.
“There was no chance of survival in that suite. It was just too hot and smokey,” Pley said.
The BC Coroner’s Service was at the scene. The body will likely be removed on Tuesday, Pley said.
Three other suites in the building suffered smoke and fire damage. Seven other residents have been displaced and Victims Services was on scene assisting them.
It’s too early to say what caused the fire, Pley said. The blaze was fatal so the RCMP will take the lead in the investigation, he added.