Fire destroys Windsor Plywood building in Chilliwack
VANCOUVER -- A Chilliwack lumber supply store is in ashes after massive fire broke out Friday afternoon.
Fire officials say that the blaze was spotted by a customer at Windsor Plywood around 2:30pm.
Crews arrived on scene within minutes, but half of the building was already up in flames.
“On arrival we found heavy, heavy fire in the lumber yard that had extended to the building supply store and adjacent attached appliance store,” explained Assistant Chief Andrew Brown of the Chilliwack Fire Department.
Massive flames could be seen shooting hundreds of metres into the sky and thick plumes of black smoke filled the air.
The mounds of dry tinder inside only fueled the fire, and firefighters spent nearly 10 hours putting out hot spots.
“What makes it challenging is the volume of fire. The building itself starts to collapse on itself and now pockets of fire are hiding,” said Brown.
Everyone escaped uninjured, but the building was destroyed.
A team of more than 40 firefighters and eight fire trucks were able to contain the damage, despite the fire being just metres away from several other businesses.
“We’re happy to report all the other buildings around this buildings are in good shape,” said Brown.
BC Hydro had to cut power to several of nearby power lines while crews fought the flames. As a result, 4,135 customers were without power in the area at one point.
The Chilliwack Fire Department says the building is a total write-off and will be demolished in the coming days.
Vedder Road is expected to be closed until at least Saturday while that work is underway.
Fire officials say the cause of the blaze is now under investigation.