Fire destroyed the top floor of Madison Place in Langley City in July 2020 but the entire building had to be avacuated. More than 40 families were displaced by the fire. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

Fire extinguishers recommended for condo dwellers

Langley Township looked at fire safety in condos after two fires in the City

Local governments can’t mandate changes to sprinklers for condo buildings, in the wake of a second condo-destroying fire, according to the Township’s fire chief.

Earlier this summer, Township Councillor Bob Long asked whether the Township could order that condos be retrofitted with sprinklers, or equipped with fire extinguishers on upper balconies.

The request came after the fire that gutted Madison Place on 56th Avenue in mid-July.

That was the second fire in recent years to destroy a large portion of a condo building in Langley. The Paddington Station fire on Fraser Highway in the winter of 2016 destroyed dozens of homes as well.

Both fires, noted Long, came from the same cause – the fires started on an upper-floor balcony where there was no sprinkler, and spread into the roof, and from there into the rest of the building.

“It is the most vulnerable place for a fire to start,” Long said.

READ MORE: Fire guts Langley City apartment building

READ MORE: Little left for residents to salvage following Paddington Station fire

It was the Paddington fire that prompted the B.C. government to make a change to the B.C. Building Codes, however.

By March of 2017, the province had announced that any condo building of four storeys or more would require sprinklers on balconies and in attics. Taller condos had already required such sprinklers.

However, Madison Place was built before 2017, as were thousands of other condo units around B.C.

After Long asked about sprinkler upgrades, Township fire chief Stpehen Gamble responded by noting that local governments and fire departments have no authority to retroactively upgrade local buildings.

He noted that there were a few things strata councils could do, including banning smoking on balconies, or not allowing barbecues, heaters, or candles on balconies.

Every homeowner should also have at least one ABC fire extinguisher, the chief noted.

Long said the Township could encourage more education on the issue as well.

fireLangley Township

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Green Party announces candidate for Abbotsford South

Former provincial and municipal candidate Aird Flavelle seeks election

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Sept. 27

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

LETTER: Langley City resident on bandwagon over 208th Street traffic problems

Another resident is voicing an opinion about traffic in the area of 208th Street and 48th Avenue

Aldergrove farm invites artists for life drawing sessions

Art in the Country happens this Saturday, Oct. 3, at 26864 16th Ave

Langley East Liberal candidate denies NDP accusation of homophobia over crosswalk vote

Margaret Kunst said she has worked with LGBTQ youth with her PuCKS charity

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

Surrey’s Rialto Theatre shutters after 200% rent increase imposed

Owner says he’s devastated by the closure of the 26-year-old business

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

Most Read