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Hundreds displaced after fire breaks out in Maple Ridge

More than 200 people have been displaced after a large fire in Maple Ridge Friday night.

The blaze broke out at a construction site for a new condo building near the intersection of Brown Avenue and Edge Street just before midnight, Chief Michael Van Dop of Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue said.

The flames then spread to neighbouring houses and a condo building near the construction site. Some units were destroyed, while others have severe smoke and water damage.

“The fire was significant in size. As a result of no fire barriers or no finishes, it did escalate rapidly,” Van Dop said.

The fire is under control, and there are currently no major injuries reported, according to Maple Ridge Fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Van Dop said one first responder was taken to hospital with smoke inhalation but has since been sent home.

Those displaced by the fire are asked to go to the reception centre at the Greg Moore Youth Centre at 11925 Haney Pl. to register with Emergency Social Services, the city said in a news release Saturday.

Residents living in buildings near the fire are advised to keep windows and doors closed, and those who suffer from respiratory issues are encouraged to find alternative accommodation until the smoke is cleared.

It could be “months, if not a year plus” before displaced residents will be able to return home to the apartment building damaged by the fire, Van Dop said.

Mark Hammer and Danielle Boyle were asleep inside their unit in the condo building behind the construction site when the fire broke out.

"(Boyle) woke me up and was like ‘I think we should go, the building across the alley is on fire,’” said Hammer.

“As soon as I saw it, I knew we had to get out of there,” he continued.

“The flames started quite small, but within seconds it seemed, the whole construction site was engulfed,” said Boyle.

The couple made a quick dash to escape.

"It was like raining fire balls because of all the things that were catching fire were going into the sky and then coming down,” said Hammer.

“So you had to dodge your way, it was insane.”

The pair say their unit is on the side of the building that was less affected, but have no idea what the extent of the damage is, or when they’ll be allowed back in.

"I don’t even have shoes, all I have is whatever I’m wearing," Hammer said. Top Stories

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