UPDATED: Residents evacuated after fire rips through balcony of Langford condo unit

Emergency crews responded to a fire on the balcony of a top-floor unit in a Langford apartment building Thursday afternoon. Goldstream Avenue was closed for a number of hours while firefighters extinguished the blaze. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Emergency crews responded to a fire on the balcony of a top-floor unit in a Langford apartment building Thursday afternoon. Goldstream Avenue was closed for a number of hours while firefighters extinguished the blaze. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
A fire that ripped through the balcony of a Langford apartment unit Thursday afternoon was quickly extinguished by firefighters, but that unit, and others, will be impacted by water damage. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)A fire that ripped through the balcony of a Langford apartment unit Thursday afternoon was quickly extinguished by firefighters, but that unit, and others, will be impacted by water damage. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Flames consume a fourth-floor balcony in a condo building on Goldstream Avenue in Langford last week. (Jasmine Kosmuk/Black Press Media)Flames consume a fourth-floor balcony in a condo building on Goldstream Avenue in Langford last week. (Jasmine Kosmuk/Black Press Media)

A fire on a Langford balcony Thursday afternoon has left about 100 people seeking alternate accommodations Thursday night.

A fourth-floor balcony at the Evo building at 844 Goldstream Ave. was engulfed in flames by the time emergency crews arrived on Oct. 8.

A witness who saw the beginning of the fire and called 911, said she and a colleague heard loud scraping noises before flames suddenly erupted from the apartment building. She speculated the cause to be a combusted barbecue.

Roughly 10 minutes after that call, fire crews started arriving. Langford, Colwood and View Royal firefighters took on the fire while West Shore RCMP helped to tape off the scene and shut down Goldstream Avenue between Peatt and Jacklin roads.

Natasha McCarthy, a Langford resident, was riding on the bus when the fire started. She said the bus driver told them that they weren’t going anywhere, so she got off and walked toward the scene.

McCarthy said seeing the towering flames was terrifying.

“This is somebody’s house,” she said. “I mean in 2020, what else can go wrong? I just really hope everybody is okay.”

Evo building resident Michele Pierce lives two doors down from the burning unit. Recalling the moment she realized there was a fire she said, “I was just running for the exit door. I wasn’t even really thinking. It’s like you’re there, but you’re not.”

The fire was extinguished by about 2 p.m. It’s not believed to be suspicious at this time but an investigation is ongoing.

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Pierce and about 100 other residents and their pets were safely evacuated from the 48-unit condo building, but none of them were able to return Thursday evening, except to collect belongings. All of the residents were asked to head to the Langford Legion and check in with Emergency Social Services. Alternate accommodations were offered to those who required it.

Several businesses on the ground floor of the structure were also impacted, including Curious Comics.

Lance Caven, Langford assistant chief of fire prevention, said the fire damage was limited to the exterior of the unit, but there is considerable water damage impacting several suites.

“There is considerable water damage as we wanted to make sure we had lots of water on this fire to keep it under control,” Caven said. “We don’t know how long people will be out of the building.”


 

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