Vehicle on fire at Maggie Benston Centre parkade

Led by SFU’s Campus Public Safety, the incident was resolved safely

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Cause of the fire is still unknown, according to Ringrose. PHOTO: Amirul Anirban / The Peak

By: Yelin Gemma Lee, News Writer

On the afternoon of February 10, a vehicle fire was reported at the SFU Burnaby campus. The cause is unknown.  According to Andrea Ringrose, senior director of Campus Public Safety (CPS), a contractor saw the first signs of smoke coming from a vehicle in level 7000 of the West Mall Centre parkade and contacted CPS at 2:15 p.m.

This is the second car fire incident at SFU. The last incident in July 2021 involved three cars catching on fire at the West Mall parkade. 

The Peak spoke to Ringrose to learn more about the incident. “With Burnaby Fire Department en route following our 911 call, all available CPS units were immediately dispatched to assess hazard(s), confirm if there were people requiring immediate assistance, ensure the safe movement of community members from the area, and to initiate traffic control and escort Burnaby Fire units,” said Ringrose. 

Ringrose said the “coordinated response came together quickly,” with the first CPS responders and traffic and road manager on-site within two minutes of the report. The first Burnaby fire truck was directed to the hazard by CPS within 10 minutes of the 911 call. 

The Peak reached out to the Burnaby Fire Department for a comment, but didn’t receive a response before the publication deadline. 

The Burnaby Fire Department, CPS supervisors, traffic and road safety team, and security staff were all collectively involved in addressing the incident. Additionally, Ringrose said staff from meeting, event, and conference services, and parking enforcement helped with crowd control and redirecting people and vehicles to safety. She emphasized many community members were involved in addressing the situation and ensuring public safety including facilities, safety and risk services, contractors, and SFU marketing and communications department. 

When witnessing a potential hazard, Ringrose advised students and community members proceed in the following order: 

  1. Get yourself to safety, 
  2. Call 911 if the situation could require fire, police, or ambulatory services, and 
  3. Notify SFU CPS. 

At that point, students should not re-enter the hazardous area and should follow the directions of CPS and other emergency personnel. 

Ringrose highly recommends SFU community members save the SFU CPS urgent phone number in their phone, as well as download the SFU Snap app with notifications enabled. Emergency notifications and updates are posted on the SFU Snap app and the SFU Twitter account.

“Thanks to the SFU community for coming together to keep each other safe: The contractor who reported the first sign of smoke, the managers in the area that evacuated people as a precaution and the patience of staff, faculty and students who calmly cleared the area despite the disruption to their afternoon!”