No one injured in three-alarm blaze in Burnaby

Jeff Hodson/Metro Vancouver


Firefighters pour water onto the smoldering remains of an abandoned bowling alley on Hastings Street at Willingdon Avenue yesterday morning. No one was injured in the blaze.

A three-alarm fire ripped through an abandoned bowling alley in Burnaby early yesterday morning.

The fire at the dilapidated Hastings Bowl (4437 Hastings St.) broke out on the second floor of the building sometime after midnight. No injuries have been reported.

Firefighters had the blaze out by 7:30 a.m., but continued to pour water on the building into the early afternoon.

An excavator was used to rip down walls to allow firefighters at hot spots within the building.

Armando Esposito, who has lived in a house behind the bowling alley since 1974, said he was sleeping when he first heard the fire around 12:30 a.m.

“Oh sure, I was worried,” said Esposito, who watched firefighters battle the blaze from his back garden.

Neighbour Anna Chong slept through the sirens, but awoke around 3:30 a.m. to the smell of smoke.

That same white smoke blanketed much of the area yesterday morning. RCMP and yellow police tape re-routed vehicles off Hastings between Willingdon and Rosser avenues.

Neighbours said the building had been closed since December when the roof partially collapsed due to heavy rain. It was boarded up and was scheduled for demolition.

Cpl. Jane Baptista, a spokeswoman for Burnaby RCMP, said arson investigators were on the scene yesterday, but likely wouldn’t enter the rubble until sometime today because it was still too hot.

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