1 man dead, another seriously injured after overnight fire caused by smoking

·1 min read

A fire in a commercial building in Vancouver on Monday night has claimed the life of one man and sent a second man to hospital.

The Vancouver Police Department says two officers were driving near Kingsway and Victoria Drive around 9 p.m. PT when they noticed heavy smoke billowing from a second floor suite at 2127 Kingsway.

The officers notified Vancouver Fire Services who attempted to enter the building but were driven back by the fire.

"The fire occurred in an illegal suite which did not have sprinklers or smoke alarms," said Capt. Jonathan Gormick with Vancouver Fire Rescue Services. "Fire Investigators have determined smoking to be the cause of this fire."

A man between 30 and 40 years old was pronounced dead at scene. Another man was taken to hospital with significant injuries, according to Gormick.

"This tragic loss is a reminder for everyone to ensure they have working smoke alarms; Fire Code requires one per occupancy," said Gormick, adding that smoking is a leading cause of fire fatalities.

Vancouver Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Richard Craven said the two-alarm blaze was fought by 15 firefighters.