Fire engulfs heritage home

A multi-unit heritage home in Vancouver's West End was destroyed by a three-alarm blaze Saturday night.

Two people were rescued from the house, located at Broughton Street and Pendrell Street, and the flames were problematic to fight. Complications came from nearby power lines and low water pressure.

A ladder needed to be placed to rescue one of the people, and the other was saved from the basement. No one was harmed.

"The fire progressed, moving up from the basement through the walls," said Battalion Chief Steven Duncan. 

The flames took hours of effort from around 50 firefighters to extinguish.

According to some residents, the destroyed building contained low-income housing. Three adjacent buildings were also evacuated as a precaution.

Witness Blair Coleman saw flames and smoke and hurried over with blankets and a pet carrier to help evacuees.

The following morning, Heritage Vancouver board member Patrick Gunn was on the scene surveying the damage. 

"We're just glad that no one was harmed and everyone got out," Gunn said. "But in terms of loss for Vancouver's architectural merit, it's sad."

The building, which Heritage Vancouver said was built in 1904 by Parr & Fee, the same architects behind a restored neighbouring house, had corner turrets characteristic of a "Queen Anne" style.

"Very few are left," Gunn said.

The house originally cost $3.000 to build at a time when an average home would only cost $1,200. 

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