Fire destroyed an apartment building on 7th Avenue in Castlegar Saturday morning. Photo: Betsy Kline

Fire destroyed an apartment building on 7th Avenue in Castlegar Saturday morning. Photo: Betsy Kline

Fire destroys Castlegar apartment building in one of three fires Saturday morning

Four-unit building on 7th Avenue completely destroyed

Fire destroyed an apartment building in the 1100 block of 7th Avenue in Castlegar early Saturday morning.

Castlegar Fire Department (CFD) was called to a vehicle fire at the site shortly after midnight on March 20. By the time they arrived, the vehicle, which was parked right next to the building and underneath an overhang, was fully engulfed and the fire was spreading to the building.

The fire continued to smoulder for more than nine hours and an excavator was eventually brought in to knock down the building.

All occupants of the four-unit complex were safely evacuated. Residents of an adjacent six-unit apartment building were also evacuated as a precaution.

Lattanzio says he does not suspect the fire is suspicious, but the investigation is ongoing.

The property is owned by brothers Tyler and Ryan Ricker. Tyler’s partner Callie Mitchell says there were five people living in the building.

The Red Cross will provide housing for the victims for the first few days after the incident, but efforts are being made to locate new homes. Due to a lack of supply in the city, especially of lower rent units, the process is proving difficult. If anyone has a unit for rent, they are asked to contact Mitchell at calidawnm@gmail.com as she is trying to coordinate the effort.

Mitchell said the most urgent need is to find a space for an older male tenant who had lived in the building for a long time.

Community donations have been coming in to help the victims get back on their feet. New Life Church is accepting donations on behalf of the victims as is Callie Mitchell.

Two other fires

Meanwhile, shortly after 5 a.m. a second fire call came in.

That fire turned out to be a burning blanket on the bike racks at Kootenay Savings Credit Union on 20th Street.

Lattanzio suspects a homeless person may have been sleeping there when the blanket caught fire.

The third fire call came in at 6:20 a.m. It was located on the property behind the Chevron in the 1900 block of Columbia Avenue.

Lattanzio said when they arrived on scene, a homeless camp was on fire. The fire had spread to a tent, camping equipment and other materials.

All of CFD’s units — four fire trucks and two command vehicles — responded to the fires, as well as fifteen firefighters.

The apartment fire took place about 100 metres away from the Yew Street property where three fires have taken place in the last nine months.

READ MORE: Castlegar byelection candidates announced



betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

castlegar

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From the left: Beth Plotnikoff, Madeline Williams, Shannon Frederick and Sheryl McIver pose for a photo outside their Market Avenue t-shirt stand Saturday, April 17. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks businesses raise money for Phoenix snow cat

T-shirt proceeds to go toward a used snow groomer for the mountain

A class is in isolation after a potential exposure at J.V. Humphries School in Kaslo. Photo: School District 8
Kaslo school’s class isolated due to possible COVID-19 exposure

A class at J.V. Humphries School is home for the week

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Tala MacDonald, a 17-year-old student at Mount Sentinel Secondary who is also a volunteer firefighter, has won the $100,000 Loran Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
West Kootenay student wins $100K scholarship

Tala MacDonald is one of 30 Canadians to receive the Loran Scholarship

Kristian Camero and Jessica Wood, seen here, co-own The Black Cauldron with Stephen Barton. The new Nelson restaurant opened earlier this month while indoor dining is restricted by the province. Photo: Tyler Harper
A restaurant opens in Nelson, and no one is allowed inside

The Black Cauldron opened while indoor dining is restricted in B.C.

Jake the service dog is trained to give calming hugs to his caretaker and handler, Rae-Lynee Dicks, who lives with post-traumatic stress disorder. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Jake and Rae-Lynne: The story of a Grand Forks woman and her service dog

Jake is on his way to completing his training, but it’s been difficult to socialize him in the pandemic

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
BREAKING: Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
B.C. health authority seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

Chakalaka Bar and Grill plans to continue serving customers without public health compliance

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to target people ages 40+ in ‘high risk communities’ with AstraZeneca vaccine

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Carver Ken Sheen had almost finished work on a large cowboy carving commissioned by the City of Williams Lake to replace the original overlooking the Stampede Grounds when fire broke out Friday, April 18 at his property between Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Pine River Carving Facebook photos)
Cow boss statue destined for Williams Lake Stampede Grounds goes up in flames

Carver Ken Sheen lost the statue, all his tools and his shop in the blaze

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)
B.C. moves to protect employee pay for COVID-19 vaccination

Most won’t need to take time off work, labour minister says

New figures show Canadian housing prices outpacing those in other developed countries. (Black Press Media file photo)
Canadian housing prices fastest rising in the world

Relative to 2000, housing prices have risen by a factor of more than 2.5

Most Read