Four weeks after fire destroyed the IGA grocery store in Fort Langley, debris has not been cleaned up and the smell of smoke has been replaced by the stench of rotting garbage.
The fear now is that rotting meat will attract rats, Township Councillor Charlie Fox said on Monday night.
“It’s becoming a disaster,” Fox said. “If we have rats going there it’s going to be a health issue.”
Council agreed with Fox that the Fraser Health Authority should be notified immediately.
The IGA burned to the ground on Jan. 4.
The large number of firefighters at the scene prevented the flames from spreading to Frontier Building Supplies, situated a few feet away.
Frontier owner Jim Dyck said that if it was left up to the Lee family which owns the IGA, the mess would have been cleaned up within a week. But the involvement of more than one insurance company has delayed the work, Dyck said.
“If it was left up to Robert (Lee) he would have had that cleaned up right away,” Dyck said.
So far there has been no sign of rodents, Dyck said. Lee advised him that the debris will be cleared away within a week.
Like the Lees and the IGA store, Dyck and Frontier Building Supplies are fixtures in Fort Langley. He said that the fire did more than create a mess and destroy a much needed business.
“More of a concern to me is that the fire has put this town into almost a state of mourning. It’s the strangest thing I’ve seen,” he said.
“It’s put the town into a funk, and it’s got to help to clean it up.”