A fire at an apartment building in Coquitlam has displaced at least 50 Syrian refugees who have only been in Canada for about six months.
The fire, at an apartment building at 550 Cottonwood Avenue, started at about 11 a.m. on Thursday.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time but some of the refugees told Global News contractors were working on some pipes in the building when the blaze broke out.
The three-storey building is an older building and has no sprinklers.
Luckily, no one was hurt.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart is devastated at the extensive damage and has been in touch with all the families affected.
Many of the refugees came to Canada from Aleppo and are now concerned they have lost everything.
They spent Thursday night in a hotel and Stewart said they will work to find more permanent accommodations for them again.
The fire took about an hour to bring it under control but it was a hard battle to fight; crews had to use a lot of water and foam to attack the fire.
How you can help:
The Coquitlam Foundation has an account set up to help displaced persons in Coquitlam due to situations such as a major fires. Donations to support those displaced by the Cottonwood fire can be made at the following link: Cottonwood Fire Support
Donors are asked to click on the “Donate Now” button in the lower right section of the page select the “General Fund” in the drop down box and reference “Cottonwood Fire” in the message section. Tax receipts will be issued. The Foundation will oversee disbursement to those impacted by the fire.
Around the same time, crews were also called to a fire at a home in the 2900-block of Wickham Drive. The fire has now been brought under control.
It’s believed there was no one in the home at the time and there are no injuries. There’s no word how this fire started.