Nearly five months after a fire broke out in a 60-unit condominium building, residents are still waiting to move back in.
The blaze ripped through the upper floor of Park Ridge on Stevenson Road around midnight on Aug. 10, displacing about 80 to 100 residents.
It was a “very large volume of fire in difficult spaces up in the roof area,” said assistant fire chief Chris Wilson at the scene that morning.
The majority of the fire damage was in the top floor of the four-storey building where several units were completely destroyed. Massive holes in the roof and blackened beams could be seen from the apartment’s parking lot and Vedder Road.
There was “quite a bit of water damage from the third floor down to first floor,” said Wilson, adding that fortunately there’s “very minimal smoke damage, because everything typically goes up in a fire.”
Chilliwack residents were quick to come to the aid of the Park Ridge residents.
Within hours of the blaze, a Facebook group and fundraising pages were set up to organize support for the 60 families affected by the fire. Several businesses were offering gift cards, volunteers were organizing clothing drives, and friends were creating GoFundMe pages for people affected by the fire.
Residents were grateful for the support. Wrote one: “I can’t thank you all enough. This is so generous of you all. Thank you for the gift card, but most of all… thank you for the hug. It’s an incredible feeling to know you are cared about by a stranger. Thank you for showing everyone just how amazing our lil town is.”
The building’s new roof is now complete, the inside has been gutted and it’s currently being dried out. The families are now waiting for their units to be rebuilt so they can return home. There is no timeline set for when they can move back in.
Those wanting to help can donate to the Park Ridge Fire Victims account at any Envision Financial branch.
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