- Church officials state that a neighboring single-resident occupancy facility had to be vacated due to the fire.
- Citizens of the 100-block of East Hastings Street leave with their belongings after a major blaze broke out in a neighboring structure, the Downtown Eastside Street Church, at about 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Vancouver firefighters fought a fire at a Downtown Eastside church on the 100 block of East Hastings Street for hours on Wednesday night.
Black smoke billowed from the second storey of the two-floor brick building as firefighters used numerous hoses from a crane and the road to try to contain the fire, which began around 9:30 p.m. and continued to re-ignite over some hours.
Flames licked through the ceiling and could engulf the second floor’s roof.
Church officials informed CBC News there were no homes in the building, but at least one neighboring single-resident occupancy (SRO) facility had to be vacated due to the fire.
Dozens of firefighters were on the scene through much of the night, just off the corner of East Hastings Street and Main Street.
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The Vancouver Street Church serviced the Downtown Eastside community and had only held its 6:30 p.m. worship service and food giveaway hours before the fire broke out in its facility.
“I’m overwhelmed,” stated the church’s lead pastor, Christina Dawson. “We outreach to people in the lane, the homeless, the poor, the alcoholics, the drug addicts; we also give them food, hot dogs, and care packs. “I’m beside myself.”
The place has seen a series of devastating fires lately, including one that left two deceased at the nearby Winters Hotel and replaced dozens of nearby citizens.
An ex-minister at the church, Jen Allan, said it’s a vital part of the Downtown Eastside neighborhood.
Source – CBC News