Body found in wreckage of fire-ravaged Winters Hotel in Gastown

“Throughout the process, investigators and the demolition crew were alert to anyone who may be in the building and proceeded with the proper precautions and care,” the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Department said. .

Content of the article

A body was found in the ruins of the Winters Hotel in Gastown.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

The 1907 SRO building at 203 Abbott was devastated by fire on April 11 and is being demolished. But demolition work was halted on Friday when the body was found.

Fire crews battle a four-alarm fire at the Winters Residence at 203 Abbott Street in Vancouver on April 11, 2022.
Fire crews battle a four-alarm fire at the Winters Residence at 203 Abbott Street in Vancouver on April 11, 2022. Photo by NICK PROCAYLO /PNG

No one from the Vancouver Fire Department or the Vancouver Police Department was immediately available to explain why it took 11 days to find the body.

But a press release from the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services said: ‘The fire was too extensive and the situation deemed too dangerous to allow firefighters access to areas on the second floor (where the fire started birth) and above, which means that an “all is clear” has not been determined.

“Throughout the process, investigators and the demolition crew were alert to anyone who may be in the building and proceeded with appropriate precautions and care.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

“The inquest into the death has been referred by VFRS to the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) who have engaged the BC Coroners Service. The coroner attended. Building demolition will resume once a green light is provided by the BC Coroners Service.

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services said Thursday they had completed a preliminary investigation into the fire at 203 Abbott Street, and found the fire originated in a second-floor unit due to candles unattended and had been deemed accidental.

The fire displaced more than 150 residents between the Winters Hotel and the adjacent Gastown Hotel. A total of five residents were rescued by firefighters and five were taken to hospital for treatment. Tenants displaced by the Winters Hotel fire were moved to a new rooming house on Tuesday, a 71-room hotel at 303 Columbia St.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

Firefighters said the hotel, a four-story rooming house, had a previous fire on April 8 in another unit. This fire was extinguished by the building’s sprinkler system.

At that time, fire crews shut off the main water supply to shut off the sprinklers and issued a ticket to have the system serviced — standard procedure after the sprinklers go off.

The system was “up and running as expected,” Vancouver Fire Rescue spokesman Matthew Trudeau said earlier this week.

The Notice of Violation then advises building operators to have the sprinkler system serviced. It also requires that a fire watch – people assigned to patrol the building at specified intervals to check for fire or smoke – be in place until the sprinklers are operational again.

Advertisement 5

Content of the article

The April 11 fire was detected by a staff member conducting a fire watch. They tried to put out the fire but without success.

Trudeau said there are no provincial regulations that decree how quickly a sprinkler system should be restored, but in general, Vancouver Fire directs building staff to get it back online “as soon as possible.”

Fire crews battle a four-alarm fire at the Winters Residence at 203 Abbott St in Vancouver on April 11, 2022.
Fire crews battle a four-alarm fire at the Winters Residence at 203 Abbott St in Vancouver on April 11, 2022. Photo by NICK PROCAYLO /PNG

More soon…


More news, less ads: Our in-depth journalism is possible thanks to the support of our subscribers. For just $3.50 a week, you can get unlimited, lightweight access to the Vancouver Sun, The Province, National Post and 13 other Canadian news sites. Support us by subscribing today: The Vancouver Sun | Province.

Advertisement 1

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.