Multiple fire crews responded to a fire in a multiple-unit residential/commercial building in the 5500-block of 203rd Street in Langley City Saturday June 5. (Langley Advance Times files)

LETTER: Langley City fire shows value of apartment sprinklers

Local man would like to see building code require balcony sprinklers

Dear Editor,

Re: [Saturday fire forces evacuation, Langley Advance Times, June 10]

Last Saturday a fire occurred at an apartment complex on Michaud Crescent. It was covered in this paper on Thursday.

Buried in the story was a relatively inauspicious line that mentioned sprinklers going off implying it prevented further damage. During that fire I got a call from a friend who witnessed the fire as the balcony it started on faced her place next door.

I went right over and witnessed the limited damage it caused. No doubt the reason it didn’t spread was due to sprinklers which apparently prevented much greater damage during the estimated five minutes it took the fire department to respond. That is a long time when your building is on fire and as I understand it most tenants were allowed to move back in the next day, and the businesses downstairs never missed a beat.

• READ MORE: Council will consider fire prevention for buildings under construction

As I live in an all-wood construction building built in the ’60s it greatly concerns me that all these recent fires causing property damage and homelessness devastating lives and destroying apartments and condos all have the same achilles heel.

No sprinklers.

As I notice all the new construction going on all over Langley, I’ve been noticing the same lack of common sense not being built right in especially in all-wood construction.

It seems to me that changes in the building code might help prevent more undue hardship especially with all the recent fires and hardship. They have created a burden on society through ridiculous insurance rates, losing residences, property and most of the parties are innocent.

How many more deaths and stratospheric insurance rates must we endure before the building codes change into where common sense becomes much more common?

An ounce of prevention is worth 10 pounds of cure.

Danny Halmo, Langley City


Langley Advance Times