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Burnaby highrise balcony fire likely sparked by e-scooter battery: fire dept

Hillside West strata council president Leo Buonassisi says the strata will discuss the Oct. 16 balcony fire at its next meeting but will hold off action on e-scooters and e-bikes until after hearing from the fire department.
Fire broke out on the 31st floor of a Burnaby condo tower early Monday morning.

A Burnaby strata council will discuss a recent Brentwood condo tower balcony fire at its next meeting.

The blaze, which broke out on a 31st-floor balcony at Hillside West at 4730 Lougheed Hwy. in the early morning hours of Oct. 16, was likely sparked by an e-scooter battery, according to the Burnaby Fire Department.

"We don’t have an absolute definitive, but we are fairly certain it was the e-scooter battery that either caused it or was significantly involved in the fire," Fire Prevention Inspector Sean O'Brien told the NOW.

Fire crews were called to Hillside West at about 12:55 a.m. on Oct. 16, according to the fire department.

Responding firefighters spotted "visible fire" on an upper floor on the left side of the building.

They found the blaze on the 31st floor and put it out with a dry chemical fire extinguisher.

Alarms rang in both Hillside West towers, and residents were evacuated, according to strata council president Leo Buonassisi.

When asked whether the council was considering any action on electric bikes or scooters as a result of the fire, Buonassisi said they would discuss the incident at their next meeting.

"I don't think we will be making any decision on electric bikes or scooters until we receive the report back from the fire department," Buonassisi said. "If nothing else, this shows the importance of owning a good fire extinguisher and having it in your home ready to be used."

In the meantime, it's fortunate the residents of the apartment involved appear to have ignored rules about using their balconies for storage or the e-scooter might have been charging inside the unit.

Building manager Luiz Campos said only patio furniture and barbecues are allowed on balconies.

"You can't use the balcony as storage," Campos said. "Usually I ask them to remove it."

O'Brien said there were two people in the apartment when the fire broke out outside of their unit.

The blaze didn't spread to the inside of the building, according to the fire department.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor
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