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Nanaimo firefighters battle another unoccupied commercial building fire on Stewart Avenue

Fire in former restaurant on June 5 under investigation, cause deemed suspicious
Firefighters in Nanaimo stripped away construction fences and plywood to check for fire damage inside an unoccupied commercial building Monday, June 5. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)

Nanaimo’s firefighters battled their second blaze on Stewart Avenue in less than two weeks.

Crews responded to a fire in an unoccupied commercial building in the 1300 block of Stewart Avenue shortly after 1 p.m. Monday, June 5, when fire broke out in the back of the two-storey wooden structure that was the location of a former restaurant.

Capt. Dan Multari said the fire was fully involved when firefighters arrived on the scene.

“When we arrived it actually turned out to be a fully involved deck on the rear of the restaurant and we were able to knock that down with an inch and three quarter hand line very quick,” Multari said.

Fire crews had to move construction fencing and cut away plywood panels to get into the structure and ensure the fire had not extended inside the building. Multari said flames had damaged the back deck and penetrated into the rear portion of the building’s interior.

What started the fire is under investigation. Multari said the building was unoccupied, but he deemed it as suspicious in nature. Nanaimo Fire Rescue Fire and Loss Prevention Division investigators were on scene. B.C. Ambulance and Nanaimo RCMP also attended.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue fought a fire in another commercial building less than half a block away on Stewart Avenue May 26.

READ ALSO: Firefighters battling blaze on the waterfront along Nanaimo’s Stewart Avenue

READ MORE: Firefighters snuff out small fire in former seniors’ care home in Nanaimo

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A Nanaimo firefighter douses hot spots after fire damaged an unoccupied commercial building on Stewart Avenue Monday, June 5. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)

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Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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