UPDATED: One man sent to hospital after fire at downtown Victoria Central Library

Fire caused by a cut gas line that ignited

A fire started during renovation and construction work on the building that houses the Central Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library, has been extinguished by crews.

The Victoria Fire Department was called to the scene Wednesday morning around 11:30 a.m. at the corner of Broughton and Blanshard Streets for a report of a gas line rupture with fire on the roof. Smoke could be seen coming from the roof area of the five-storey building when crews arrived.

Firefighters quickly proceeded to the roof and performed an aggressive attack on the fire, while another crew went to the fifth floor and helped to extinguish the fire through the ceiling area.

One witness said he was inside the library when he began smelling smoke and heard the fire alarm go off shortly after.

Deputy Chief Daniel Atkinson said one man, who was close to the fire at the time it started, was taken to hospital. He was treated for minor burns.

Crews evacuated the building and opened up the Christ Church Cathedral for evacuees to gather in from the cold.

The fire has been extinguished but crews remain on scene to put out hot spots and ensure the safety of the building. Some of the roof structure was damaged and will require repairs, with an estimated cost of $50,000.

A fire investigator found the fire to be accidental, caused during construction work by a cut gas line that ignited.

Atkinson could not say if people would be allowed to re-enter the building on Wednesday.

-With files from Nina Grossman

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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