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Sprinklers douse Pitt Meadows apartment fire

A fire that started on a stove in a Pitt Meadows apartment Monday was quickly put out by sprinklers.

A young mother moving into the suite at Origins Apartments on Harris Road had placed boxes on top of the stove, which was turned on by mistake.

Fire chief Don Jolley said the boxes caught fire, but the flames were quickly extinguished by sprinklers.

The fire at 4 p.m. forced firefighters to shut northbound lanes of Harris Road during rush hour.

The kitchen of the third-floor suite was damaged by smoke and water, as were several suites below it.

The woman and her 16-month-old baby have no home insurance.

"Because of the sprinklers, she's going to be able to salvage most of her belongings," said Jolley.

Sprinklers were credited with quickly dousing a similar fire two weeks ago that started on a stove in an apartment building near the Meadow Gardens Golf Course, while the occupant was asleep.

Jolley said both instances demonstrate the importance of installing sprinklers.

"It would have been a lot worse," Jolley said.

"[Sprinklers] should be everywhere. They save lives and property."

Most residents were allowed back inside the Origins building within three hours.

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