A deadly fire broke out at about 2:30 a.m. on Monday, in the 170-unit Mountain Village Garden Apartment complex in North Vancouver. (Google Maps)

UPDATED: Two family members killed in overnight North Vancouver apartment fire

Fire officials say 16 others were taken to hospital with various injuries

An apartment fire in North Vancouver has killed two people and sent a dozen to hospital for treatment of various injuries.

The victims were trapped when the blaze tore through one of four buildings in the 170-unit complex around 2:30 a.m. Monday, said Wayne Kennedy, deputy chief with District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue.

“One half of the building was fully affected by the fire and the other half was affected by smoke and water,” Kennedy said.

RCMP said in a news release that 17 units in the wooden, two-storey complex were extensively damage, leaving about 70 people permanently displaced.

Flames were visible as firefighters pulled up, Kennedy said, but residents from other suites were already rushing to assist people and that was a huge help to crews.

As a precaution, crews evacuated other buildings in the sprawling 4.5-hectare complex and sent more than 100 residents to a nearby reception centre.

READ MORE: Community rallies to support Mexican farmworkers displaced by fire

Fire crews didn’t immediately realize two people were trapped, Kennedy said.

“There was some mention to us, early on, that there were a couple of people who weren’t accounted for, but due to the intensity of the fire and the amount of units that were involved it wasn’t a safe alternative for us to get into some of the units until we had a better control of the fire.”

Firefighters were able to check the suites several hours later and found both people in the same unit.

The BC Coroners Service confirmed via email that it is in the early stages of an investigation into two deaths.

The victims were from the same family, but their names and ages have not been released, police said.

Mounties added that 12 survivors were treated in several area hospitals for injuries ranging from smoke inhalation to burns.

Most residents were allowed to return to their suites in unaffected parts of the complex within hours.

Crews continued to douse hot spots on the fire Monday, and Kennedy said an assessment of the structural integrity of the building would also be required.

He said it was still unclear what sparked the blaze and work to determine a cause would begin as soon as possible.

An RCMP arson unit, the fire department and the coroner’s service are all working on the investigation.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Excel Martial Arts raises more than $5,000 for family of Chilliwack man killed in workplace accident

By-donation fundraiser event helps wife, three children of 28-year-old Nathan Appleton of Chilliwack

Chilliwack Lions Club has a new place to call home

After more than five years without a headquarters, Chilliwack Lions Club moves into new hall

Sardis Falcons top Heritage Woods in field lacrosse opener

The Falcons rallied from a halftime hole to take a big win on the road in Port Moody.

Chilliwack prolific offender charged in four alleged incidents in 12 days

Branden Tanner busted for alleged smash-and-grab Nov. 30, then incidents Dec. 3, Dec. 8 and Dec. 11

Four companies vying to open cannabis stores in locations across Chilliwack

Rezoning applications for non-medical cannabis outlets pending, and some will require variances

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Boeser has 2 points as Canucks ground Flyers 5-1

WATCH: Vancouver has little trouble with slumping Philly side

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

Hundreds attend Hells Angels funeral in Maple Ridge

Body of Chad John Wilson found last month face-down under the Golden Ears Bridge.

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Gas prices to climb 11 cents overnight in Lower Mainland

Hike of 17 cents in less than 48 hours due to unexpected shutdown of Washington state pipeline

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

Most Read