Residents evacuated as firefighters douse blaze in Burnaby highrise

Residents of a Metrotown apartment highrise were for forced out onto the street Wednesday by a fire in a fifth-floor suite.

Fire crews were called to the building at 7077 Beresford St. at about 3:10.

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Heavy smoke and fire were showing on the outside of the building from a shattered window in the fifth-floor suite, according to fire Captain Mike Main, one of the first in the apartment.

Inside the building, the thick smoke was contained mostly to the one suite, he said.

“The actual eyehole that you look out, smoke was coming through there,” he said. “The hallway was fine until we opened the door.”

Inside were smoke and flames, which were promptly extinguished.

There was no one in the apartment at the time, and there were no injuries, according to the fire department.

Residents didn’t evacuate the building right away when the fire alarm went off because they thought it was just a drill, according to Jeff Shih, who lives on the 13th floor.

He said he didn’t pack up his cat Carl and get out until he saw smoke outside.

“Nobody knew what was going on,” he said. “We reacted kind of slow.”

The cause of the three-alarm fire is under investigation, but it appears to have started in the kitchen, according to Main.

Fourteen fire companies – 42 firefighters – responded.

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