(Capital City Centre Hotel fire November 5/ Photo by Penny Coolen - Twitter)

Fire crews in Victoria battled a massive blaze that broke out late Thursday evening.

The fire broke out just after 10 p.m. at the Capital City Center Hotel on Douglas at Discovery Street.

Video from the scene showed large flames on the exterior of the building and smoke billowing from windows.

According to VicPD Inspector Jamie McRae, police were initially called to the Hotel for a report of an individual experiencing a mental health crisis.

Police attempted to negotiate with the person to exit a suite in the Hotel, but he refused.

“Not too long after as we were in conversation with him between the door, some of the units detected the smell of smoke,” McRae said in an interview on the scene with Victoria Buzz.

Officers continued to try to convince the man to exit until alarms went off in the building. That prompted police to contact fire crews.

“Shortly thereafter there was quite a fire coming mostly from what looked like the rear area of the suite,” McRae said.

Police and fire crews then evacuated other residents from the building.

One resident on the scene told Victoria Buzz he had ignored the police sirens at first, but when the fire alarms went off he evacuated quickly.

“I looked out my window and saw smoke just spewing out one of the vents,” the resident said. “I grabbed my stuff and got out of there.”

He says a police officer directed him to an evacuation zone on Caledonia Avenue. The resident added that he didn’t know if he and other residents would be relocated.

McRae says the individual who had been barricaded in the suite did eventually emerge and was taken into custody.

The suspect was then transported to hospital and was undergoing treatment as of 11:30 p.m. for unconfirmed injuries.

McRae said four additional people were taken to hospital to be treated for various injuries.

Two BC Transit buses were supplied to provide evacuated residents with a place to keep warm while crews worked to contain the blaze. Officials were not able to comment on if residents would be permitted to return.

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