Victoria firefighters take a breather after emerging from an apartment building at 443 Superior St. Fire in a back area third-floor suite forced evacuation of the building early Tuesday evening. Six suites in all were affected, but all residents were were still outside hours after the blaze was called in, as fire crews mopped up and cleared the hallways of acrid smoke residue. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Victoria apartment fire forces evacuation of multi-suite building

No one home in suite where fire started, everyone got out ok: VFD

Residents of an apartment building at 443 Superior St. in James Bay were waiting for the green light to go back into their suites, after fire tore through a third-floor unit in the rear of the building early Tuesday evening.

Multiple calls came in just before 6 p.m. and when the first fire crew arrived from the nearby hall on Michigan Street, firefighters found a lot of fire and smoke, according to Battalion Chief Wayn Moody. Firefighters in the the first truck on scene attacked the fire from the rear of the building off Michigan and knocked it down from the outside, then susbsequently began attacking from the inside.

No one was home in the suite where the fire began, but a neighbour who was knocking on doors yelling for people to get out of the building was treated for smoke inhalation. No one else was injured, although at least one firefighter was also treated on scene for smoke inhalation.

Emergency social services staff were called out to help residents displaced by the fire and firefighters were working to remove all pets from the building.

Smoke filled both Superior and Michigan streets at the fire’s peak, and brown smoke could be seen and smelled for many blocks away. Moody said calls came in reporting fire on both streets, but the first truck entered through the rear parking lot. “In this case it was a win because they were able to see the fire and knock it down right away,” he said.

The early estimate was that at least six suites were affected by fire, smoke or water damage. No determination of cause was available as of about 7:30 p.m., as firefighters were still making sure all hot spots were extinguished.

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Soot-covered Victoria firefighters swap out their oxygen tanks after emerging from an apartment building at 443 Superior St. Fire in a back area third-floor suite forced evacuation of the building early Tuesday evening. Six suites in all were affected, but all residents were were still outside hours after the blaze was called in, as fire crews mopped up and cleared the hallways of acrid smoke residue. Don Descoteau/Victoria News