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Ceiling collapses on firefighter during 3-alarm fire on Granville Street – BC

An aggressive fire was caught on video early Saturday morning, leading to the collapse of a ceiling on a firefighter.

Vancouver firefighters received a report of a fire at the back of a building on Granville Street, near the Nelson Street intersection, around 2:10 a.m.

When crews first arrived, they immediately dubbed the blaze a three-alarm fire, as neighbouring buildings were at risk of igniting.

“The first arriving crew at the two-storey building that caught fire, the plaster ceiling on the second floor came down on the fire crew,” assistant chief Ken Gemmill said. “They had to evacuate and one firefighter was injured and was looked at by (BC Emergency Services), but he is okay and is back fighting the fire.”

Two people other people were sent to hospital with smoke inhalation injuries, Gemmill said.

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Fire officials believe the fire started in the alleyway in a vehicle, which spread into a two-storey building, which has been completely lost.

The fire then spread into the next-door five-storey Backpackers Hostel. People were evacuated from the hostel and a neighbouring SRO.

City engineers are on the scene to determine the structural integrity of the buildings with concerns about the fronts collapsing. BC Hydro and Fortis have also been called in.

The fire is believed to have been extinguished as of 10 a.m. Saturday.

Crews are asking the public to avoid Granville Street between Nelson and Helmcken streets.

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