Firefighters from four fire stations battled a blaze inside the old Caledonian Clinic site.
Nanaimo Fire Rescue, RCMP and B.C. Ambulance responded shortly before 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, to a report of a structure fire at the corner of Campbell and Wallace streets. Upon arrival, fire crews saw smoke coming from the roof the structure, which has been unoccupied for more than a year.
The boarded-up doors and windows hampered crews as they tried to get into the building to fight the fire and vent smoke from the structure’s interior.
“The first arriving company officer found smoke in the area,” said Stu Kenning, Nanaimo Fire Rescue assistant chief. “We identified an open door and a person was standing by the door saying there was a fire inside and one person, possibly on the top floor. Once we gained access … the fire was extinguished, we conducted a thorough search and no one was found in the building.”
Kenning went on to say that the person who met firefighters at the door appeared to have been living in the structure, and bystanders said people have been living there.
Wallace and Campbell streets were closed with Nanaimo RCMP controlling traffic while fire crews were on scene.
“There was fairly significant smoke damage, but not much fire damage,” the assistant chief said. “Fire damage was kept to one room.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation by Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s fire and loss-prevention division.
A demolition permit for the building was issued by the city Sept. 7 to make way for a proposed six-storey residential structure.
Nanaimo Fire Rescue, RCMP, BC Ambulance on scene fire in building at Campbelland Wallace streets. Firefighters working to get into interior of building. No word on injuries or extent of fire. Wallace and Campbell closed.#Nanaimo #fire @NanaimoBulletin pic.twitter.com/s9ZWRQzzOC— Chris Bush (@ChrisBushphotog) January 25, 2023