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Three-alarm Surrey fire leaves dozens homeless

A fire tore through an apartment building in Whalley early Sunday, displacing dozens of residents.  - CTV
A fire tore through an apartment building in Whalley early Sunday, displacing dozens of residents.
— image credit: CTV

Thirty residents of an apartment block in Surrey were left homeless on the weekend after a fire tore through their four-storey building in North Surrey.

The fire at 13550 Hilton Road was called in at about 2 a.m. Sunday. The building had sprinklers, but the blaze spread to the attic, where there were no fire suppression devices.

At that point, the fire was fast-moving, meaning most families escaped with little more than the clothes on their backs.

There were 30 people displaced from the 27-unit, four storey building. None were injured in the blaze.

“I just said get dressed and get out. The alarm didn’t go off until we left the place,” said resident Kian Kadkhoda, who was awoken by the smell.

He saw flames on a balcony of the building at 2 a.m. and said his suite caught fire in a matter of seconds.

Upgraded to a three alarm fire, 30 firefighters battled as the fire spread quickly through the wood attic.

As of Monday morning, crews were searching through the structurally sound areas of the building, looking for valuables.

The people who were displaced were first taken to Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre in North Surrey, then given accommodation at the Vancouver Guildford Sheraton Hotel.

While some things on lower floors may be salvageable, the fourth floor, where Kadkhoda lived, is likely a total loss.

“I’m grateful we’re not hurt, we have to look at the bright side you know. Everybody in the building’s okay, no one got hurt,” said Kadkhoda.

Some residents did not have insurance and are being assisted by emergency social services.

- with files from CTV

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