Hotel fire in Victoria that injured at least 6 people treated as probable arson

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Firefighters in Victoria are treating a hotel fire Thursday night that injured several people as a probable arson.

The fire broke out at the Capital City Centre Hotel, at the corner of Douglas and Discovery streets.

The Victoria Police Department said officers were at the hotel just before 8:30 p.m. PT after a man who they said was armed and in crisis called police.

In a statement, police said they tried to talk to the man from outside his suite. He said he was at risk of harm and had barricaded the door. The smoke detector later went off and smoke was observed but officers could not get inside.

Paramedics were called to the hotel around 9 p.m. The Victoria Fire Department said crews were called in shortly before 10 p.m.

"When we made entry to that suite, there was heavy fire conditions," Victoria Fire Department Deputy Chief Dan Atkinson said. "We initiated a fire attack at that point in time but the fire was already fairly well established and was able to grow relatively quickly.

"Fortunately, we were on scene quickly and we were able to get water on the fire and prevent further spread from the suite of origin."

An incident report from the fire department said the fire was mostly confined to the original suite but there was substantial smoke damage to the third and fourth floors.

Flames and smoke erupted from the building as shown by video from the scene and witnessed by fire crews. The building was evacuated.

"We had to perform a rescue of about three different suites [and] perform a rescue off the fourth floor with ground ladders," Atkinson said.

Atkinson said one person suffered "fairly significant" burns to their arms. Five other people were treated for smoke inhalation. All are now out of hospital.

B.C. Emergency Health Services says it transported seven people to hospital in stable condition.

Police said the man in the suite was apprehended under the Mental Health Act and taken to hospital.