November 7, 2019
At 0455 hours the Nelson Fire& Rescue Services responded to a report of a fire at the Villa Motel with flames showing from the pool area extending to the units above. Both on-duty members responded immediately with all available additional fire department members responding from home. Automatic mutual aid was initiated with our partners in the Regional District for water supply support as there are no fire hydrants in the area of the Villa Motel.
Upon the arrival of the first crew, an active fire was observed in the pool area and the units above the pool with flames showing from the area between the floors. The first arriving crew’s primary objective was to ensure that all occupants were out and to prevent the fire from spreading to additional structures. The construction of the building and the location of the fire hindered the suppression efforts along with the water supply challenges. Firefighters were not able to safely access the area above the pool to prevent the fire from travelling through the void space.
During suppression efforts crews were tasked with assessing Amanda’s restaurant directly downhill from the fire. Water was found to entering the restaurant through a crack in the rear wall and was accumulating on one side of the building. Fire crews were able to dig a trough to redirect the water around the restaurant. Crews then went inside to remove as much water as possible in an attempt to limit the damage.
Due to the ongoing challenges, over multiple hours, with getting water on the fire, additional resources were requested from the RDCK. Firefighters and equipment from multiple departments were dispatched to complement the water shuttle and assist with hose lines for suppression.
Assistance was also received from the Nelson Police Department to assist with initial support and evacuation of the motel. All occupants were safely evacuated. BC Ambulance Service, Nelson Hydro, Nelson Public Works Department, FortisBC Gas, and Nelson Emergency Management Program also supported the efforts.
The fire was declared out at 1602 hours and crews continued to monitor for hot spots and work on getting equipment and apparatus back in service.
The origin of the fire is still under investigation at this time. Currently, the fire does not appear to be suspicious in nature.
In all, forty-two City of Nelson and Regional District firefighters responded to the incident with three fire engines, one ladder truck, five tender trucks, and two utility vehicles. One minor injury to a firefighter was reported as a result of this incident. No other injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Nelson Fire Rescue would like to acknowledge the cooperation and assistance from the owners and managers of the Villa Motel and Amanda’s Restaurant, as well as thank the motoring public for their patience and cooperation as fire trucks travelled back and forth from the water fill site to the fire.
For more information please contact:
Nelson Fire & Rescue Services Tel: (250) 352-3103
Michael Daloise Assistant Fire Chief