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North Van crews investigate industrial explosion and fire

The Sunday evening fire spread to some nearby outbuildings and supplies, but things could have been a lot worse.
A fire burns at Vancouver Pile Driving on the North Vancouver industrial waterfront, March 5, 2023. | North Vancouver City Fire Department

North Vancouver City Fire Department investigators are working to determine what caused a large fire at a waterfront industrial site Sunday evening.

Crews from the city and District of North Vancouver were dispatched to the Vancouver Pile Driving site at the foot of Brooksbank Avenue around 7 p.m. when a worker at the adjacent G3 terminal heard an explosion.

“They could see heavy black smoke coming from the yard,” said assistant fire Chief Mike Danks. “Once we got on site, it was very apparent we had a fully involved structure fire. It looked like the main source of the fire was a 10-by-30-foot ATCO trailer.”

The fire had already spread to some nearby outbuildings and piles of supplies associated with the business.

Danks said they trained their water cannon and hoses on the blaze and quickly got it doused.

There were no staff on site and no on was hurt in the blaze, he added.

Investigators were sifting through the wreckage on Monday in hopes of pinning down a cause.

“There’s quite a bit of damage done there,” Danks said.

Danks said things could have been far worse had it not been for the early notification and co-ordinated response between the two fire departments.

“They really stopped this fire from getting a lot bigger and spreading,” he said.

Thankfully, all the contaminated water dumped on the flames was collected in an underground holding tank, which kept it from leaking into nearby Lynn Creek.

“We were really lucky in that sense,” Danks said.

While some of the operations will have to be suspended, Danks said Vancouver Pile Driving staff reported to work on Monday and the business will continue.

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