Women treated for smoke inhalation from crawlspace fire

NANAIMO - Fire department says building suffered heavy structural damage from crawlspace blaze.

A fire in a crawlspace Wednesday resulted heavy structural damage and two women being treated for minor smoke inhalation.

The fire started at about 1:30 p.m. in a crawlspace of a two-storey, wood frame office building for the Kw-umut Lelum Child and Family Services Society at 544 Centre St.

According to Nanaimo Fire Rescue, 15 people were evacuated from the building and two women were treated at the scene by B.C. Ambulance Services for minor smoke inhalation.

The fire was contained to the crawlspace, but caused major damage to floor joists, electrical and plumbing systems and family services staff will not be able to return to work in the building.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue has listed the fire as accidental, but its cause is still under investigation, Alan Millbank, fire prevention officer, said in an e-mail to the News Bulletin.