Sunday, July 5, 2015

Overnight fire on Third Avenue West consumes New Moon Apartment building

The New Moon Building scene
of an early morning fire on Sunday
Prince Rupert's downtown core was the scene of major blaze in the overnight period, as fire fighters from Prince Rupert Fire Rescue and members of the Prince Rupert detachment of the RCMP responded to a call at the New Moon Apartments shortly after the midnight hour on Sunday morning.

Fire Rescue personnel began their attack on the New Moon Building immediately, seeking to knock down the blaze as quick as possible, all with a watchful eye on neighbouring buildings along the six hundred block of Third Avenue West.

A review of some of the photos that made the rounds of twitter and other social media options in the early hour mornings show a blaze that had the potential to spread to the entire block on Third Avenue, a street and area of the city that has seen a number of the city's major fires over the years.

The efforts of the Fire Department brought the fire under control by the 4 AM mark, with crews remaining on the scene overnight and into the afternoon to watch for hot spots and secure the area for fire investigators.

At this time, there has been no word on whether there were any injuries related to those that had to evacuate the building, or among those working the fire overnight.

During the course of the blaze, power was knocked out to a large portion of the downtown area, with some sections of the immediate area only returning to power service in the mid morning period.

Fire personnel were still on the scene into Sunday afternoon, with the smell of smoke still in the air over twelve hours later from the time the first alarm was raised.

All resources of the Prince Rupert Fire Rescue Department were still stationed around the fire scene into the afternoon as well, with members of the RCMP securing the area in all directions.

Some photos of the scene from after the noon hour can be viewed below.

View of the scene on Third Avenue West
from Fifth Street looking west
The Prince Rupert Fire Department
Aerial truck on 3rd West

All resources of the Prince Rupert
Fire Rescue Department 

were still stationed on 
3rd Avenue after noon hour
A view of the New Moon building
from the rear, at Fifth Street
looking west

City work crews were also engaged in clean up work around the fire scene this afternoon, as the blaze had raged through the early morning it hours it delivered ash, tar paper and other materials from the building to the immediate area, some of it reaching a two block radius around the stretch of 3rd Avenue from Fifth to Sixth Streets.

The early morning fire resulted in the closure of a number
of streets between Fourth Street and Seventh Street

The apartments that made up the second and third floors of the building would appear to be a total loss, a situation that will leave a number of residents now homeless, adding onto a homeless situation that has become considered dire in recent months.  At this time it has not yet been determined as to how many residents of the building will be looking for emergency and then permanent housing.

The investigation into the early morning fire continues, with no details as to its progress released as of yet. Fire officials had not yet started their work inside the building, as the structure had still been declared as unsafe.

More background on the early morning fire will be provided as it becomes available.


In mid afternoon Sunday, the Prince Rupert RCMP provided the first official outline related to the overnight events, detailing the response and investigation to this point.

The key point noted by the RCMP was that the fire at this time is not believed to be suspicious in nature.

As a traffic advisory, the road located along Third Avenue in front of the New Moon will be closed to traffic until the morning hours of Monday.

"At this time it appears as though the fire broke out in the common kitchen area of the apartments located directly above the restaurant ... The Prince Rupert Fire Department has extinguished the fire and will be dealing with potential hot spots throughout the afternoon and overnight. The roadway along 3rd Avenue West between 6th and 7th Street will remain closed to vehicular traffic until the morning hours of July 6th, 2015. This fire is not believed to be suspicious in nature.” -- Constable Matt Ericson of the Prince Rupert RCMP with details on Sunday morning's fire.

More background can be found from this media release, anyone with information related to the early morning events are asked to contact the RCMP at 250-627-0700 or through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477

For past items related to the work of the Emergency Services of the Northwest see our archive page.

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