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North Langley townhouse fire forces 11 people from their homes

Two units at a Walnut Grove complex were signficantly damaged in a Sunday evening fire.
Two units at a Walnut Grove townhouse complex had significant damage due to the May 14, 2023 fire. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Eleven people are out of their homes in Walnut Grove after a massive fire in a townhouse complex Sunday evening.

Langley Township Fire was called at 9:13 p.m. to a complex at 20292 96th Avenue, said Russ Jenkins, deputy fire chief.

The call came in as a house fire but was upgraded to a commercial fire because of the location, a townhouse complex with multiple units.

“It looks like it’s separate units, started in one and then spread to the neighbouring unit,” he said.

Neighbours Sydnee Russell and Jen Pinch said it was scary for neighbours who saw the flames shooting into the sky. Russell had been walking with her husband, and they were worried that it was their home when they first saw the fire.

They also said that the family in the home on the south got out with all three of their pets safely – a hamster, a rabbit, and a dog.

According to neighbours, the fire is believed to have started in the back of one home, possibly in the hot tub area on the back deck, and spread from there.

One firefighter sustained minor injuries at the scene. Jenkins said 30 to 35 firefighters were involved in the call, with about seven or eight pieces of equipment. Crews from the Walnut Grove hall were helped by others from the halls in Murrayville and Fort Langley.

“We’ve got our investigators on scene this morning, so the fire investigation is underway,” Jenkins said.

He said the units have significant damage, and neighbouring units may have been impacted by water but the fire was contained to the two units.

“We investigate every residential, structural or commercial structure fire. So it’s just part of our process to do the investigation and report it to the office of fire commissioner,” he explained.


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A townhouse complex at 20292 96th Avenue was the scene of a fire Sunday, May 14, 2023. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Heather Colpitts

About the Author: Heather Colpitts

Since starting in the news industry in 1992, my passion for sharing stories has taken me around Western Canada.
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