A group of Victoria police officers risked their own lives when flames erupted from a high-rise apartment building early Thursday morning.
According to CTV Vancouver, seven officers rushed inside the Quadra Street building after a fire broke out on the ninth floor around 7 a.m.
“I got out into the smoke-filled corridor, first thing I saw was policemen rushing up,” said resident George Garrett. “They were all worried about us rather than themselves.”
The officers had a battering ram for breaking through locked doors, but no breathing apparatus to deal with the heavy smoke. They started to evacuate the building on the ninth and tenth floors, but the smoke eventually became too thick.
Four of the officers were taken to hospital in ambulances and three others were driven by their colleagues. One other non-officer also suffered smoke inhalation.
“They’re police officers and when lives are at risk they spring into action,” said Const. Cody Lapierre.
Fire crews arrived shortly after the cops had entered the building, and managed to extinguish the blaze a few hours later. There was extensive damage to several suites.
Investigators believe the blaze was caused by a smoldering cigarette.