Fire burning in Sardis overnight on Aug. 10, 2019. (Kimberley Dencer/Contributed to The Progress)

UPDATE: Large fire destroys Chilliwack apartment building

Early morning fire on Stevenson displaces 100 people

A massive fire destroyed a Sardis apartment building early Saturday morning.

At about midnight on Aug. 10, firefighters were called to a fire in a 60-unit apartment complex on Stevenson Road where they arrived to find a heavy volume of fire and smoke pouring from the roof.

Residents in the Park Ridge building on Stevenson Road, and two neighbouring complexes, were all evacuated in case the fire spread. Everyone was able to escape the fire.

It took about three hours to knock the fire down, and an additional hour and a half after that to completely extinguish the blaze.

The fire seemed to be under control at one point, and then flared up again, according to witnesses.

It was a “very large volume of fire in difficult spaces up in the roof area,” said assistant fire chief Chris Wilson at the scene that morning.

The majority of the fire damage was in the top floor of the four-storey building where several units were completely destroyed. Massive holes in the roof and blackened beams could be seen from the apartment’s parking lot and Vedder Road.

There was “quite a bit of water damage from the third floor down to first floor,” said Wilson, adding that fortunately there’s “very minimal smoke damage, because everything typically goes up in a fire.”

Of the approximate 80 to 100 total residents displaced, only about 15 to 20 of them needed emergency support services — most of whom were able to spend the night in a hotel, and three who spent the night at Tyson elementary.

“People, generally, were very well prepared with other arrangements including insurance. The amount of support we needed to provide was, thankfully, a lot less than what it would typically be, so we found quite a few residents were quite prepared in this complex,” said Wilson.

The Chilliwack Fire Department had a meeting late Saturday morning with about 65 Park Ridge residents at Tyson elementary where the emergency support services reception centre has been set up. There, the fire department provided them with more information about the fire, how to go about gathering their belongings, insurance, and other emergency service info.

Additionally, the Chilliwack SPCA has offered up shelter for anyone who has displaced animals.

There were no firefighter or civilian injuries as a result of the blaze. It is unclear yet how the fire started and the fire investigation team is scheduled to survey the building on Monday.

The building won’t be inhabitable any time in the near future.

A support page for victims of the fire has already been set up on Facebook, called Park Ridge Fire Victims Support. On that page, people are sharing their stories, offering help and listing what they’ve lost.

More to come.

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

 

People gather outside the Park Ridge building on Stevenson Road Saturday morning following a fire that displaced about 80 to 100 residents. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

A firefighter hands a cat to its owner following a fire at an apartment building on Stevenson Road early Saturday morning. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

(Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

(Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Assistant fire chief Chris Wilson speaks with residents of Park Ridge at Tyson elementary Saturday morning. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

Province bringing 421 new affordable childcare spaces to Fraser Valley

Supporting early childhood educators and creating spaces go hand in hand, minister says

New waste system rolling out across Hope Feb. 10

Bins began arriving at homes around Hope this week

Rude awakening: 1.6-magnitude earthquake rouses residents from their sleep

The quake was detected 3 km east-northeast of Agassiz

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

Man clings to roof of car driving along busy road in Maple Ridge

The man was also seen jumping on the vehicle

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Most Read