Roughly 100 Langford residents could be out of their homes for weeks – some for months – after a condo building fire Thursday afternoon.
Strata corporation Firm Property Management has begun the process of restoring the building and testing electrical wiring in order to have people return after a fire on the fourth-floor balcony of the 48-unit Evo building on 844 Goldstream Ave. The blaze started around 1 p.m. on Oct. 8 and spread rapidly, burning upwards and into the roof. Fire crews from Langford, Colwood and View Royal arrived quickly, dousing the flames from above with high-pressure hoses.
For Langford Fire Rescue, it was the biggest blaze so far this year.
“We have seen many other buildings like this burn to the ground,” said Langford Fire Chief Chris Aubrey. “It was quite a significant fire in the roof.”
While fire damage was minimal – limited mostly to the building’s exterior and roof area – the water used to put out the flames caused considerable destruction, with water seeping into the building’s electrical room and several units.
“Those directly by the fire and down below will likely have to wait some time. It could be days to weeks for some of the residents, it could very well be months for others,” Aubrey said. “The goal is to get people back into the building as soon as we can and supporting them in that process.”
An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing, but crews are certain the blaze started on the balcony. Ironically, it was the only one in the building without a sprinkler, he noted.
Aubrey also coordinates Emergency Social Services. He said arrangements have been made for all of the occupants and accommodations provided for those who need it. Insurance and strata management will take over from there.
One business, Curious Comics, took up residency on the bottom floor. While the comic book business was three floors below the fire, Aubrey said there would likely be a concrete slab between its ceilings and the residences above – something that might have helped protect it.