Firefighters were called to tackle a fire in an empty downtown Castlegar building early Friday morning.
Castlegar fire chief Sam Lattanzio says crews received a call at about 5:30 in the morning, and quickly responded to the fire, located on the 400 block of 11th Ave.
“Neighbours noticed flame showing and smoke coming from the attic,” he says. “When we arrived on the scene, about eight minutes after the initial call, the structure showed heavy smoke and fire at the rear of the property.
“The fire was extinguished fairly quickly.”
Lattanzio says smoke, fire and water damage to the building is extensive.
Lattanzio says no one was in the building at the time, and there were no injuries to the public or emergency crews.
The fire gave crews a bit of a scare when it spread into nearby trees, causing some to burst into flames.
“There was a bunch of pine trees that did candle, it was quite spectacular to see,” he says. While the forest fire was extinguished, Lattanzio says as a precaution people living in nearby duplexes were evacuated from their homes.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation. Lattanzio says it is considered human-caused and suspicious in nature.
The building has been turned over to the owner to secure it. It has been boarded up since a previous fire more than 10 years ago.