Multiple fire crews battled a structure fire in an older wooden building on Third Avenue on Sunday night.
There were multiple calls to 911 around 8:45 p.m. alerting crews to the fire in the two-storey structure, in the 3400-block of Third Avenue, Port Alberni Fire Dept. Chief Mike Owens said.
“Heavy smoke and fire (was) emitting primarily from the back side of the structure. Crews worked hard,” Owens said.
Crews from Port Alberni, Beaver Creek, Cherry Creek and Sproat Lake fire departments spent more than two hours knocking down the blaze and mopping up. Third Avenue between Napier and Dunbar streets was closed during that time due to emergency vehicles on scene.
The building is located between Dairy Queen and the box culvert for Dry Creek. It was not the former Jade Restaurant building: that structure was torn down in 2015 to make space for flood mitigation work to the culvert. Some people have said the building was once an auction house.
No one was injured in the blaze. While the building was closed up it was not abandoned, Owens said. “The person who owns it was using it for some storage but nobody was in it at the time.”
Fire investigators were due to go through the building Monday afternoon to search for a cause for the blaze.
Firefighters answered two other fire-related calls the same evening, including a small fire next to a dumpster at Strathern Street and Third Avenue at 7:18 p.m. “There’s nothing that jumps out at us to say these two are connected,” he said.
The Third Avenue structure fire was the PAFD’s 2,195th call for 2022—making this a record year for fire department calls, Owens said. “Generally, we’ve had more incidents this year than we’ve had in any previous year. Last year we were at 1,989 calls for the entire year (also a record year),” he added.
“We’re still a month and a bit left in the year.”