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

Man faces 11 charges after accidentally discharges bear spray around Victoria cops

A Victoria man had a unlucky morning Wednesday after he accidentally discharged… Continue reading

Sooke council threatens to close long-time business

Driver’s Welding application for a temporary zoning variance denied

Police arrest two men on Gorge Road East

Traffic has resumed in the area

Bus crash survivor petitions Justin Trudeau to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

Suspected opioid overdose likely culprit behind serious crash in Fairfield

Victoria paramedics give unconscious driver Narcan

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

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

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Charges dropped against Mountie involved in shooting death of Surrey man

‘I feel like I’ve lost Hudson all over again,’ says mom

B.C. Interior caribou protection area big enough, minister says

Proposals sparked protest in Kootenays, Williams Lake region

Two B.C. women selected to compete on ABC’s The Bachelor

Mykenna Dorn and Alexis Thind will compete for bachelor Peter Weber’s heart

UPDATED: Hundreds gather to reflect and remember UVic students killed in bus crash

Campus community invited to reflect, support one another

Most Read