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Maple Ridge fire victims can access emergency support services

80 residential units impacted by downtown fire Friday night
A photo of the fire taken by an anonymous person who posted in the Hammond Neighbours Facebook Page. (Special to The News)

The victims of Friday night’s destructive fire in downtown Maple Ridge can access emergency support services.

People who have not yet registered in person can do so by calling the Canadian Red Cross’s disaster assistance toll-free line at 1-888-800-6493 to identify that they have been impacted by the Maple Ridge fire. The operator will connect the caller with emergency services resources.

“While we are thankful there were no serious injuries, our heartfelt thoughts are with everyone that has been impacted by the devastating fire that took place on the weekend especially those who have lost their homes and belongings,” said Mayor Dan Ruimy. “The city is working with our partner agencies to ensure that all those impacted get the support and services they need to get through this difficult time. Maple Ridge will come together as a community, as we always do, to help our neighbours.”

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue Services responded to the fire just before midnight on Friday, June 9 at the site of a five-story building that was under construction on the 22500 block of Brown Avenue. The building was a wood frame structure that did not yet have its exterior cladding, nor were the fire sprinklers and fire separations installed.

The intensity of the fire at the construction site resulted in extensive damage to the apartment building to the north as well as three single family residences directly east and west of the construction site. In total, approximately 80 residential units were impacted by the fire displacing an estimated 200 residents.

The fire response involved 50 firefighters and 12 apparatus, including mutual aid from Pitt Meadows and Mission fire departments.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge fire chief gives update on downtown fire

“I would like to thank our firefighters and my mutual aid colleagues for their quick action and dedication to bringing this intense fire under control,” said Chief Van Dop. “We are grateful for the incredible support from partners including Pitt Meadows and Mission Fire Services, Ridge Meadows RCMP, TransLink, BC Emergency Health Services, the Royal Canadian Legion, the Canadian Red Cross, and the Salvation Army.”

In the early moments of the response, those displaced by the fire were provided temporary shelter at the Shipley’s No Frills Maple Ridge grocery store and the Royal Canadian Legion, while the Emergency Support Services were made available at Greg Moore Youth Centre.

The fire was brought under control by approximately 4 a.m. and firefighters remained on scene until 4 p.m. on Saturday.

The Canadian Red Cross is working with those displaced by the fire to access their immediate and long-term needs. Once a local partner has been identified to handle the donations, information will be shared on the city’s social media channels.

“While we are moved by the outpouring of generosity that is coming from our community to help their neighbours in need, cash donations are preferred as this provides the greatest flexibility in helping those impacted by the fire,” said Ruimy.

A road closure at Brown Avenue from Edge Street east of 225 Street remains in effect. People are asked to avoid any unnecessary travel to the site as assessments and remediation work is underway.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge residents face uncertain future after fire

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