A fire in an apartment complex off Quebec Avenue, near Duncan Street, resulted in several evacuations and the death of a woman.
Deputy fire chief Rocky Swanson said a call came into Powell River Fire Rescue at 11:32 pm on Wednesday, February 26, with the 911 service indicating there had been a dropped phone call.
“In other words, somebody called them and wanted to report an emergency of some kind and the phone got cut off,” said Swanson. “At that time, 911 called us and asked us to investigate. Around the same time they were on the phone with our duty officer, multiple other 911 calls started coming in.
“The first truck rolled at 11:35, so it was pretty fast.”
Swanson said when the fire department arrived, RCMP officers were on scene and the police were actively banging on every single door trying to get people out of the building.
“There were multiple people trapped on the second floor on the west side. At that point we brought a ladder around that side on the balcony and started pulling people off. The RCMP were pulling people out on the first floor.
“There were at least two residents in wheelchairs as far as I understand.”
Swanson said two individuals were taken to hospital, one with what appeared to be severe injuries who later died.
The fire department responded with all four of its rigs and approximately 25 firefighters responded.
“Once the guys were on scene, the fire was knocked down pretty quickly,” said Swanson. “It wasn’t overly difficult.”
There was no report of injuries to firefighters or the RCMP.