Fire crews battled the downtown Victoria fire at the Plaza Hotel on Monday May 6 (File submitted/ Marco Crescenzi)

Downtown Victoria building failed two fire inspections before catching fire

The Plaza Hotel was scheduled for a May 8 follow-up inspection

Two weeks before a fire tore through the roof of the Plaza Hotel in downtown Victoria, another fire was reported on the property.

Victoria Fire Chief Paul Bruce said that a “suspicious fire” was reported in one of the exterior stair wells in the last week of April, and that the Victoria Fire Department had attended the scene.

No one was charged in relation to this fire.

The unoccupied building had also failed two recent fire inspections and was deemed “unsatisfactory” by inspecting firefighters.

ALSO READ: Fire ravages empty downtown Victoria building

The first was on March 21.

Most recently, a fire inspection was scheduled for April 26.

“We checked the fire alarm and security of the building on April 26,” said Bruce. “We were trying to key up a more thorough inspection of building and the property, and I believe this Wednesday, May 8 the owner’s representative was to meet us there to go over the conditions of the alarm system and the fire security.”

An undetermined cause saw the building engulfed in flames Monday morning.

Fire alarms did not go off in the building, but instead neighboring alarm systems alerted the Victoria Fire Department about the blaze.

The building was consumed by flames shortly after the fire started.

“There was a heavy fire load in the basement which leads me to believe that there was a lot of combustible storage down there, and the framed construction of the building certainly contributed to the fire spreading,” Bruce said. “The fire spread was very rapid, but our members did a good job of containing the fire.”

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, but Bruce said the department has not ruled out a suspicious cause.

ALSO READ: One man missing in relation to downtown Victoria fire

Even thought he building was unoccupied, neighbours reported people regularly going in and out of the property.

“The building has been a prime target for break-ins,” said B. Woodward, owner of the neighbouring Cherry Bomb Toys. “Things happen and people get curious, it’s a big building. “

Woodward said they didn’t notice anyone going into the building on Sunday night or Monday morning. He also said that a caretaker usually lives in the building, but believed he’d been away at the time of the fire.

The department does not believe anyone was in the building at the time, but are trying to track down the caretaker who has yet to be contacted by anyone.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

Double lung transplant gives West Shore man second chance

Co-owner of West Shore Barber Shop grateful for every minute of the 16 years transplant has provided

Hallmark movie filming in Oak Bay

Shooting for ‘Sunshine’ continues into June across Greater Victoria

City says traffic pattern on Bay Street Bridge will stay as is until October

Commuters began facing long waits on Tuesday morning after the east-bound lane was closed

Home where Proctor murder took place removed from Langford’s Affordable Housing Program

Langford woman almost purchased home, decided against it after hearing history

PHOTOS: Victoria youth continue to gather for climate action

Local students participated in a global movement calling for climate action

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

Volunteers already rescuing fry from drying creekbeds around Cowichan Lake

It’s early but already salmon fry are being left high and dry

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterrey, Calif.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Most Read