Skip to main content

City officials say one person is dead and two others are injured following a fire in Vancouver’s downtown eastside Saturday morning.

The fire department confirmed the small blaze ignited on the second floor of the Empress Hotel on East Hastings Street.

Acting assistant fire chief Walter Pereira says early indications are it was accidentally started after an overcharged electric bicycle battery exploded.

He says about 25 firefighters responded and were able to contain the fire to one unit.

Pereira says the body of the man who died was found in the alleyway beside the hotel and appeared to have fallen from a second-floor suite.

He says the single-room occupancy building has since been deemed structurally sound by a structural engineer.

This comes two months after a fire destroyed the historic Winters Hotel in the city’s Gastown neighbourhood and left two people dead.