Massive blaze guts businesses
Oct 10, 2013 / 8:46 am
Update - 8:45 a.m.
A massive fire blanketed downtown New Westminster early Thursday, destroying several businesses and disrupting a key commuter route.
The fire originated at 634 Columbia Street, according to police. A Vietnamese restaurant called Le Saigonnais is listed for that address.
It appears the fire then spread to several neighbouring buildings. The first building has since collapsed. One business owner told CTV News that at least 30 businesses have burned down.
New Westminster Fire Chief said propane tanks on the roof of the building being used by a roofing crew cause some loud explosions during the fire, but the cause of the blaze, which broke out at 4 a.m., remains unknown.
“These buildings, you have to remember, are tinder dry. Some of them are over 100 years old, so they’re all wood-frame buildings,” Tim strong said.
Crews are still on scene battling the fire.
It caused the closures of several main roads, including Front Street, Columbia Street between 4th and 8th Street, and 6th from Carnarvon to Front Street.
Police are asking drivers and pedestrians to plan alternate routes this morning.
A massive blaze broke out early Thursday morning in New Westminster.
It started around 3:40 a.m. and has now destroyed at least three businesses in the 600-block of Columbia Street.
Dozens of fire fighters are still on scene, and several roads in the area have been blocked off.
Police say there will be no vehicle traffic or pedestrians allowed in those areas.
We’ll have more details as they become available.
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