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Fire claims life of West End resident in highrise residence

A man has died after a fire in a residence on the 11th story of a Vancouver highrise
A man has died after succumbing to injuries during a fire in a residence in Vancouver's West End.

A man has died after being pulled from a fire in a 23-story building in Vancouver's West End.

Vancouver Fire Rescue Services (VFRS) were called around 6 p.m. Saturday, May 29, for a fire in a concrete highrise on the 1100 block of Gilford Street, says Assistant Chief of operations Trevor Connelly.

"When crews arrived on scene they saw smoke coming from the 11th floor," he tells Vancouver is Awesome.

There was some smoke in the hallway, but when they entered the unit it was filled with black smoke.

"They got to the fire and they were able to put a little bit of water on it," Connelly says. "Then they found the now victim."

The man, estimated to be in his mid-70s was still alive when they found him, but was badly burned.

"He was alive when he was removed, but he did suffer second- and third-degree burns to a large part of his upper body," he says.

Firefighters were able to remove the man from the suite and give him medical aid before passing him to an ambulance team who took him to hospital, Connelly adds. Unfortunately, the man later succumbed to his injuries.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the suite.

Fire investigators are currently conducting an investigation into the cause.

"Preliminary results indicate a probable cause of smoking material," says Connelly.

He adds it's important to note the VFRS was able to arrive when they did because a neighbour's fire alarm went off, alerting them to the fire. They then called 9-1-1.

"It certainly alerted us to the fire earlier than we may have otherwise," he says.

No one else was injured during the fire.

That wasn't the only call VFRS responded to overnight.

A fire reported at the intersection of Fremlin Street and 49th Avenue took fire crews an hour to knockdown just after midnight Sunday, May 30.

"Where the fire was was was a residential house that was unoccupied and by all accounts it was being prepared for demolition," Connelly says.

Fire crews took a defensive approach to the fire and no other buildings in the area were damaged. Fire investigators are looking into the fire right now; no preliminary results are available at this time.

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