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Section of SFU Burnaby parkade closed 'until further notice' after three-car blaze

First crews on scene reported 'heavy smoke and explosions,' said assistant fire chief
Burnaby firefighters respond to a three-car blaze inside an SFU parkade Wednesday morning.

A section of an SFU parkade on Burnaby Mountain will remain closed until further notice after a fire that engulfed three cars Wednesday morning.

Fire crews were called up to the West Mall parkade at 8:35 a.m. for reports of a car fire, according to assistant fire Chief Stew Colbourne.

He said the call was then upgraded to a building fire when crews discovered three vehicles had caught fire inside the third level of the parkade.

The first crews to arrive reported “heavy smoke and explosions,” according to Colbourne.

“That’s sort of common with the tires and different things,” he said.

Firefighters extinguished the flaming vehicles and made sure the fire hadn’t spread to the concrete structure, according to Colbourne.

He said there’s no indication the fire was suspicious.

SFU put out a Tweet at 9:12 a.m. asking people to stay clear of the West Mall complex as surrounding areas were being evacuated.

And the east end of the West Mall visitors parkade 9000 level has now been closed until further notice, according to SFU media relations and public affairs director Tiffany Akins.

In an emailed statement Friday, she said the cause of the fire is still unknown.

"A full investigation is ongoing," she said. "Initial review indicates that damage is likely superficial (electrical, paint, traffic coat membrane, glazing, superficial concrete damage)."

Akins said the work on the parkade is expected to last at least one month.

"If the structure is damaged, repair will be more extensive," she said.

As of Friday afternoon, no injuries had been reported, according to Akins.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor