COQUITLAM - Eastbound traffic along Austin Avenue will remain closed throughout this evening's rush hour as fire crews continue to clean up the remnants of a building that was decimated by fire Thursday night.
Westbound traffic along Austin, between Nelson and Marmont streets, remains open, while the closure affects eastbound traffic only.
The closure comes as a result of a massive fire that engulfed a one-storey commercial building at 1060 Austin Ave. late Thursday evening.
Coquitlam Fire and Rescue Services responded with 12 rescue vehicles and more than 50 firefighting personnel, though the building has since been deemed a write-off.
"They worked hard all night, but unfortunately they were unable to save the structure," Coquitlam Fire and Rescue chief Tony Delmonico said Friday afternoon, adding that no one was injured in the blaze.
The two affected business have been identified as Mary Ann Meegan Insurance Agency Ltd. and a Re/Max real estate office. The fire is believed to have started in the roof of the structure and eventually spread throughout the premises.
At one point, the roof of the building collapsed and crews were just trying to make sure the fire didn't spread to neighbouring buildings. The building to the east of the structure suffered light smoke and glass damage. No cause has been determined and it's expected those findings will be released at some point next week.
Delmonico said Friday afternoon that two fire crews remain on scene in an effort to re-open a series of businesses adjacent to the fire that were temporarily closed on Friday.
"With any luck, we're hoping that these businesses will be up and running [by Saturday]," he said. "It may be Monday at the latest."
Preliminary damage estimates have been pegged at approximately $500,000 to the affected building, which fire crews believe was built at some point in the 1950s or 1960s.
"This insurance business has been here 42 years," he said. "They've got a lot of friends in the neighbourhood and a lot of people coming by who are really concerned."