Brief evacuation after Squamish grow operation goes up in flames

The Squamish Fire Rescue says the blaze started around 9:30 a.m. but was contained by noon

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      On Monday (April 8) morning, the RCMP reported a legal indoor cannabis grow caught fire in downtown Squamish.

      Onlookers quickly began posting videos and photos of a large black plume of smoke billowing from the 3rd Avenue and Vancouver Street area.

      An evacuation order was initially issued to residents and anyone in the surrounding area citing “extensive hazardous smoke”, but was lifted when the fire was extinguished.

      The Squamish Fire Rescue say the blaze started around 9:30 a.m. but was contained by noon.

      "Smoke is minimal," Fire Chief Bill Stoner told reporters. "We have knocked down the majority of the fire. Anything left is very minimal."

      Stoner also confirmed that no one was inside the structure during the incident.

      While no neighbouring structures caught fire, the building suffered significant damage and is a “complete loss”

      Environmental health officers for Vancouver Coastal Health are monitoring air quality but did not call for an evacuation.   

      Locals have been encouraged to stay indoors and keep windows and doors tightly sealed to prevent smoke inhalation.

      Roads in the area may be blocked for several hours. Squamish RCMP say an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the blaze.