One dead as fire rips through home in East Vancouver

VANCOUVER — Vancouver police say a body was found inside a burning East Vancouver home Tuesday morning.

The family of three living upstairs evacuated the house safely, but a downstairs tenant was unaccounted for after the fire had been subdued, said Vancouver Fire Battalion Chief Steve Duncan.

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“We have a report of a person missing in the basement,” Duncan said on the scene in front of the smoking two-storey building. “We’ve done a primary search and that turned up negative. We’re still searching for that occupant.”

Duncan said search efforts were hampered by a “fair amount of debris and fire damage throughout the structure.”

The family’s cat was also missing, Duncan said.

The house burst into flames shortly before 9 a.m., said Wayne Adamson, who works nearby. Adamson said he heard three explosions and saw, from across the street, the garage in the house’s ground-floor engulfed with flames, before the fire spread to the rest of the house.

“Within five minutes, it was engulfed,” Adamson said. He said he called 911.

One of the residents told him that “she was quite upset about her cat.”

“I went into the front part of the house to see if I could find the cat, but it wouldn’t come to me, so I don’t know if the cat got out,” said Adamson.

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