Fire officials say the cause of a blaze that displaced a number of residents of a Chilliwack apartment complex early Saturday morning appears to have been accidental.
The fire began in a fourth floor unit of the complex in the 45000-block of Stevenson Road near midnight, and spread into the structure’s attic space.
Crews brought the main fire under control fairly quickly, and worked through the night to put out any remaining hot spots, finishing up by 8 a.m. Saturday.
The top floor and roof of the apartment complex suffered major fire and structural damage, while the lower floors suffered major water damage.
A number of displaced residents were bused to nearby Tyson Elementary School for temporary accommodation, and assisted by firefighters throughout the afternoon in retrieving essential items from their suites.
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“We have nowhere else to go,” one wheelchair-bound resident told Global News. “Especially with accessibility, it’s going to be a really huge problem. So we;’re just taking it one day at a time right now. I don’t even have answers.”
A man who didn’t give his name said his son had just moved into his first-ever apartment at the building.
“First place he gets, and then a month-and-a-half later, it’s destroyed,” the father said. “Unfortunately he didn’t get content insurance right away because he spent all his money moving in. So it’s tough.”
One firefighter received a minor injury fighting the fire, and was treated at the scene.
Chilliwack fire officials said Sunday between 80 and 100 people remain out of the homes.
One family is spending another night in a local hotel, they added, while the rest have found other accommodations with friends and family.
The Chilliwack Fire Department continues to investigate.