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UPDATE: Squatters appeared to have been living in old Nanaimo clinic that caught fire

Crews snuff out blaze at former medical clinic Wednesday, Jan. 25

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.

READ ALSO: Six-storey apartment building meant to encourage living and working in downtown Nanaimo

READ ALSO: Fire in vacant building sparks four-alarm response from Nanaimo Fire Rescue

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First responders were on scene of a structure fire at the former Caledonian Clinic site late in the morning Wednesday, Jan. 25. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

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