About one-third of the residents in a 47-unit co-op housing facility in Maple Ridge were burned out of their homes on Wednesday, July 19.
Fire broke out Wednesday afternoon at Devonshire Court Housing Co-operative, prompting the building to be evacuated. Everyone got out safely, according to residents on the scene.
Two top floor units at the three-storey apartment building were badly damaged by fire.
By Thursday morning about two-thirds of the residents in units in the northernmost section of the complex were able to return to their homes. Other units were damaged by smoke and water, and residents speculated there could be a lengthy period of time before they are able to return home.
All of the co-op residents are required to have apartment insurance as a condition of their residency, and most were in hotels on Wednesday night. The city has set up a emergency operations centre at the Greg Moore Youth Centre, 11925 Haney Pl., for those impacted by the fire.
There was a huge response by firefighters and Ridge Meadows RCMP at the building located near the corner of Dewdney Trunk Road and 222nd Street, and the former, normally a busy cross-town commuter route, was closed into the evening.
Maple Ridge Fire & Rescue responded to the fire report at approximately 3:40 p.m., as a huge column of smoke was seen rising from the structure from blocks away.
The cause of the fire has not yet been reported.
There was significant fire damage to a suite at the building in February of 2022. And the building was damaged by fire back in April 2021 – a blaze that left 20 units damaged and 14 uninhabitable.
This is the second major apartment fire in downtown Maple Ridge in the past month and a half. A condo building off Edge Street, which was still under construction, went up in flames on June 9. The fire completely destroyed that building, called Edge 3, and spread to the neighbouring Edge 2 that was fully occupied. The blaze caused extensive damage to the second structure and displaced about 200 occupants. They will not be able to return to their homes for an estimated two years.
That fire also levelled two neighbouring houses, also occupied.
• Details to follow as information becomes available.