Fire has gutted an apartment building in the 19700 block of 56th Avenue in Langley City Friday evening.
The fire broke out sometime between 5:30 and 6 p.m. on the upper floor of the building, facing 56th Avenue.
From there it appears to have spread across much of the top of the building, similar to the fire that destroyed the Padington Station condo building in 2016.
Tyler Tellier and his wife made it out of the building with their dog, their cat, and not much else.
“We were right underneath it,” said Tellier, who lived on the ground floor. “It was just a matter of grab the animals and get out.”
Firefighters were still battling the blaze as of 8 p.m., although there was much less smoke. The plume that had been visible from at least as far north as 80th Avenue had been doused, and there were few flames visible.
The worst of the damage appeared to be to the buidling’s top floor, but police were warning residents that Langley City firefighters believed there was a possiblity the whole building could collapse.
Emergency workers were attempting to speak to all the residents, and Tellier said there was apparently going to be a headcount of residents that evening at the nearby lumberyard.
Residents are to be put up temporarily in a hotel.
Police had blocked several roads around the scene of the fire, and hundreds of people filled nearby streets and sidewalks to see what was happening.
Residents of several nearby buildings also said they had been evacuated for safety. They did not know if there had been any damage to their buildings yet.
Flaming debris dropped onto some vehicles behind the building, which also caught fire.
It is unknown what caused the fire at this time.
– More to come