Suspected arson at Gastown condo building damages numerous suites

Several owners in a Gastown condo building are facing extensive restorations after it appears that someone intentionally set fire in a hallway of their building.

The fire broke out at about 3:30 a.m. on March 31 on the eighth floor of the Van Horne building on Cordova Street.

The building’s sprinkler system extinguished the fire quickly and there was only minor fire damage, but numerous units sustained water damage.

Resident Laurie Holiday-Smith told Global News she is one of the residents whose unit was damaged by water.

“There’s got to be, I would think, I don’t know how many suites total damaged, but on my floor, there’s at least six of us that have to get restorations done,” she said.

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Holiday-Smith said the cost of what happened is still unknown but the building insurance will cover some of it.

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“Having somebody come into the building, yeah, the area is getting more and more dangerous, it really is,” she added.

“I used to be pretty comfortable down here and I still am, but I watch more.”

Click to play video: 'Gastown pub fed up with lack of support from City of Vancouver'

Gastown pub fed up with lack of support from City of Vancouver

Holiday-Smith said this might be an opportunity for more cameras in the hallways and more places throughout the building.

The building’s management team said it is collaborating with the Vancouver police and legal authorities regarding the incident.

Sgt. Steve Addison with Vancouver police said at this stage they don’t know who started the fire.

“We’re working with building staff, tenants, we’re collecting evidence, we’re working with CCTV video with hopes that that will lead us to some evidence that will help us identify the person responsible for this,” Addison said.

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“A significant amount of damage and hardship it’s caused for a number of people in that building.”

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