Update (October 23):
Today, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) identified the blaze at Main and Broadway, which began shortly after 10 a.m. on October 22, as an arson fire and that officers had arrested a suspect a short distance away from the fire. However, police released the suspect later that day as the investigation continues on.
There weren't any injuries reported.
According to the VPD, the fire affected six businesses on the block, resulting in "severe structural damage to multiple buildings" and several of them had to be demolished.
The VPD is asking anyone with information relevant to this investigation to call 911 (or the non-emergency line at 604-717-3321).
Original article (October 22):
Firefighters are battling a large fire in Mount Pleasant that’s sending smoke billowing into the sky and street closures are creating traffic congestion.
Around 10:30 a.m., this morning (October 22), Vancouver Fire Rescue Services (VFRS) responded to a two-alarm fire in the 2400-block of Main Street at Broadway.
By around 11 a.m., it was upgraded to a three-alarm fire.
The northbound lane of Main Street has been closed from Broadway to 7th Avenue while both lanes of Broadway has been closed from Kingsway to Quebec Street.
Due to the heavy smoke, VFRS is advising people with respiratory issues to avoid the area or remain indoors with windows closed.
Thus far, VFRS confirmed that three buildings have been damaged.
Images of the fire at several businesses, including Frenchies Diner (2470 Main Street), have been posted on social media.
A few major fires have taken place in Metro Vancouver in recent months, including two in New Westminster: one at Westminster Pier on September 13 (a suspect for that fire was arrested and charged), and at a recycling depot on October 12.