— Nicole Crescenzi (@NicoleCrescenzi) May 6, 2019
Victoria Fire Department is considering a controlled collapse after fighting a fire for hours Monday morning in Victoria. Fire crews were called to the vacant building at 603 Pandora Ave. shortly after 5 a.m.
Buildings between Johnson Street and Pandora Avenue were evacuated after the call came in around 5 a.m.
Laura Carr, from the Seattle area, was evacuated from a short term rental in the building adjacent to the one burning.
“The alarm started going off I think it was about 5:15,” Carr said.
They initially thought it was a false alarm and had a concern over grabbing the room key.
“We did grab our passports we did throw some shoes on,” Carr said. “But not everyone did.”
Carr says by the time they were down the stairs from their third-floor condo, the smoke was noticeable.
“By the time we got out front … we were watching smoke coming out the top level. I’ve heard since it might have been fully engulfed by the time we were evacuating.”
She’s confident firefighters ensured everyone was evacuated from the building.
Carr was told they could not return for belongings for a few days, and went shopping to buy clothing.
The 600 block of Pandora is closed to traffic, as is the 1400 block of Government Street.
Buses in the area are affected. Victoria Fire says they are in defensive position as it is too dangerous to enter at this time.
The City of Victoria issued an advisory on social media that air quality is poor due to the structure fire, and advised residents and visitors to stay a safe distance away.
– with files from Kendra Crighton, Matteus O’Connor, Nicole Crescenzi
Smoke is still pouring out. pic.twitter.com/ilYih7kd5G
— kendra crighton (@kendracrighton) May 6, 2019