Yesterday was the last council meeting of 2016. As such, many of the items discussed at previous council meetings were wrapped up. I will be posting about these and other items tomorrow, but first I want to provide an update about the Paddington Station Fire. For the most up to date information, please visit the City of Langley’s website.
Fire Chief Rory Thompson provided council with an update about the Paddington Station apartment fire. Our Fire Rescue Service spent most of yesterday helping residents get back into the building to retrieve essential valuables such as passports and prescriptions. The fourth floor of the building had the most damage due to the roof failure, so about half of the units could be accessed. Today, work will begin to retrieve vehicles out of the underground parking.
The Langley Emergency Program will continue to help people who are still impacted by the fire, and will work with people who don’t have insurance to put them in contact with community service organizations.
Paddington Station is one townhouse building, plus two apartment buildings. The building restoration company got power and the fire alarm system working for the buildings where there was no fire. These systems were integrated between the buildings.
The City of Langley Fire Rescue Service will begin a full investigation of the fire though there are strong indications that the fire started on a fourth-floor patio, and quickly spread to the attic and roof.
The BC Building Code is under the jurisdiction of the provincial government. Chief Thompson noted that a previous version of the BC Building Code required sprinklers on patios, but this was removed. Thompson stated that if there were sprinkler on the patio, the outcome of the fire would have been different. While I can’t speak for all of council, I feel that we will likely be working to lobby the province to get sprinklers in places to prevent a Paddington Station-scale fire from happening again.
Finally, Chief Thompson talked about how Fire crews saved an elderly man on the fourth floor of the building just moments before fire entered his unit. First responders deserve a lot of credit for safely rescuing all the people in the building, and preventing any loss of life.
Langley is a caring community, and many businesses such as the Cascades Casino, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, London Drugs, and Save-On-Foods were ready with food, accommodation, and other essential items to help people impacted by the fire.
If you would like to help people impacted by the fire financially, please call the Gateway of Hope at 604-514-7375. To donate clothing and baby items, please call Zealous Art Studio at 604-533-0490.
*UPDATE* Many organizations that have previously offered to receive physical donations are at capacity. If you would like to assist in this time of need, please email Paddington Station Strata Council at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Looking to Support Paddington Station Evacuees.