Elevator equipment sparks small fire at Government House in Victoria
Victoria firefighters have put out a small fire at Government House after some aging elevator equipment overheated.
Batallion chief Brian Elvedahl says firefighters arrived Saturday night to find smoke on both the second and third floors.
He says they had to shut off power and force the elevator door open on the third floor so they could extinguish the fire in the overheating motor on top of the elevator car.
Elvedahl says it was challenging to ventilate the building but no one was injured. The damage is estimated at $5,000.
Government House is the office and official residence of the province’s lieutenant-governor and often hosts special ceremonies and guests, such as members of the Royal Family.
There have been three Government Houses on the same site in Victoria’s Rockland neighbourhood and the first two were destroyed by fires.
The first, known as Cary Castle, was built in 1859 and became Government House when British Columbia entered Confederation in 1871. It was destroyed in 1899.
The second, designed by architects Francis Rattenbury and Samuel Maclure, opened in 1903 and was destroyed in 1957.
Construction on the existing Government House began later that year and closely matched the design of the previous building. The current residence officially opened in 1959.
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