10/07/2015 19:10 EDT | Updated 10/07/2016 01:12 EDT

Lawsuit launched over fire on historic street in New Westminster, B.C.

VANCOUVER — The owner of three businesses lost to fire on a historic street in New Westminster, B.C., has launched legal action against his former landlords and a roofing company.

The Oct. 10, 2013 fire on Columbia Street destroyed several buildings and businesses including the E.L. Lewis building — which belonged to one family for more than a century.

In a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, Salim Jamal alleges breach of duty of care, fault and negligence by Taves Roofing Ltd., William Evan Lewis and Copp's Shoes.

He alleges the fire started after roofing work was done on the building, destroying his bridal, vegan and bead shops.

The allegations have yet to be tested in court, and the defendants have not yet filed statements of defence. 

Last October, New Westminster police announced there would be no charges over the fire because investigators couldn't determine its cause.

Coun. Jaimie McEvoy said at the time that it was the worst fire the city had seen since the Great Fire of 1898 ravaged a third of the city's waterfront and downtown core.

The Canadian Press