Firefighters hoof it up 43 storeys to battle blaze in unfinished Burnaby highrise

Long walk up for firefighters

Some Burnaby firefighters had to walk up 43 flights of stairs in full gear Tuesday night to fight a fire near the top of a highrise under construction in Brentwood.

A neighbour in another highrise nearby had spotted the blaze at 3264 Skyline Dr. and called the fire department just after 11 p.m., according to assistant fire Chief Dave Younger.

The problem was, the building’s elevators had yet to be installed.

“It was a very hard fire to reach,” he said.

The first crews in had to walk all the way to the 43rd floor to reach the fire, but firefighters eventually managed to unlock and power up a construction elevator on the outside of the building, Younger said.

“Crews used this to take them to the 39th floor – not the top, but close – so with this they moved gear and equipment to assist others walking up,” Younger said.

The fire at the top ended up being “relatively minor,” according to the assistant chief, and crews were able to put it out using handheld extinguishers.

Several construction tarps had caught fire, according to Younger.

He said it appeared the wind had blown them into propane heaters being used to heat the area.

That being said, the fire is still under investigation, according to Younger.

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