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Josephine Street fire causes major damage to Nelson businesses

Firefighters battled the blaze at Josephine Street in Nelson Thursday from the rear of the building. — Photo courtesy Nelson Fire Rescue Services

Nelson Fire Rescue Services continued to deal with a very busy week deluged with calls, including another structure fire Thursday (June 11) in a building at 602 Josephine Street filled with local businesses.

The Josephine Street call came at 5:21 p.m. of a fire report in the ceiling area of a bathroom located in one of the businesses in the building, which housed a tattoo parlour, restaurant, dry cleaner and pottery shop.

“When the first crew arrived, Nelson Police Department members confirmed that everyone was out of the building,” Nelson Fire Rescue, quickly responding to the fire call with on-duty staff as well as members arriving from home, said in media release.

“The fire had extended to the ceiling space and an aggressive interior attack was initiated.”

Nelson Fire Rescue said the structure had undergone extensive renovations and modifications that made accessing the area where the fire had travelled to very challenging. 

“The fire caused enough damage to the roof structure that continuing to attempt to suppress the fire from the inside was no longer safe, and a defensive, exterior attack was transitioned to,” Nelson Fire Rescue said.

“The ladder truck was utilized to try and get water in the attic space to prevent it from spreading to the businesses below.”

Nelson Fire Rescue said 24 firefighters responded to the incident with two fire engines, one ladder truck, one tender truck and two utility vehicles. 

There were no injuries were reported as a result of this incident and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Nelson Fire Rescue said crews continued through the evening to try and access some hot spots to completely extinguish the fire. 

“There is significant fire damage to the roof structure and part of the upper floor, with smoke and water damage throughout the building,” Nelson Fire Rescue said.  “The preliminary fire investigation is underway.”

Nelson Fire and Rescue Services would like to acknowledge the assistance of the Nelson Police Department members, BC Ambulance Service personnel, Nelson Hydro and FortisBC Gas for their assistance with this incident.

The fire attracted many members of the public to the Josephine Street and first responders from the numerous departments joined to keep the public and traffic away from the fire scene.

The past four days has seen numerous major calls for Nelson Fire Rescue.

Monday, firefighters joined NPD first-responder colleagues to rescue a capsized kayaker on Kootenay Lake near Chahko Mika Mall parking lot.

Tuesday, there was a major house fire on Chatham Street as well as another fire call at Ward Street Place.

Nelson Fire & Rescue Services would like to take this opportunity to remind the public to call 911 immediately to report any fires. 

Further updates may be provided if more information becomes available.

Firefighters poured plenty of water to battle the pesky structure fire Thursday on the 600 Block of Josephine Street in Nelson. — Photo courtesy Nelson Fire Rescue Services