Security guards stand beside the rubble Saturday after a fire ripped through Windsor Plywood and Canadian Liquidation on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

UPDATE: Massive fire destroys Windsor Plywood and Canadian Liquidation in Chilliwack

Customer alerted staff to fire which “aggressively” spread throughout store and to adjacent business

A massive fire that erupted Friday afternoon at Windsor Plywood and spread to the adjoining Canadian Liquidation store destroyed both businesses located north of the Southern Rail line on Vedder Road.

It was a customer of Windsor Plywood who alerted staff to the fire which started in the door- and lumber-storage area after 2 p.m. Staff evacuated customers and themselves from the building and called 911.

(See below for more photos.)

Chilliwack Fire Department crews answered the call that came in about 2:30 p.m. as flames and smoke could be seen billowing from the 7100-block of Vedder Road.

The fire spread quickly and aggressively from the storage area to the main store, and then to the south engulfing Canadian Liquidation. Both businesses were located in the same building.

The walls and roof of the building collapsed as a result and an excavator was brought in to systematically open up the building to enable firefighters to safely gain access to extinguish the fire.

Canadian Liquidation posted to their Facebook advising people to stay away from the area and confirming their building is on fire.

Chilliwack fire dispatch was calling for backup by 3:15 p.m., and more crews were still on the way at 3:45 p.m.

There were reports that the nearby trains were being halted on the tracks.

BC Hydro reported that 4,050 customers in the Sardis and Promontory areas were without power by 3:30 p.m. with another power outage reported shortly after that affecting 1,288 customers north and south of the freeway.

Fire crews were successful in stopping the blaze from spreading to nearby properties and businesses including Excel Martial Arts, which is located in a building right next door and was saved except for some damage to siding.

“Thank you a million times over to the Chilliwack Fire Department,” Adam Gibson of Excel Martial Arts wrote on Facebook. “I feel sad for the owners and staff of Windsor Plywood and Canadian Liquidation. They are our friends and neighbours and now their lives have been turned upside down,”

“If the fire had started 15 minutes later, we would have been evacuating the building with a whole wack of kids,” he added.

MLA Laurie Throness, whose office is just a few doors down from the fire, expressed his sadness and condolences on his Facebook page on Friday afternoon.

“Unfortunately, there is sadness and celebration at Christmas,” he wrote. “This afternoon Windsor Plywood in Sardis burnt down, just a few doors away from my office. Our firefighters are doing a great job, keeping the fire from adjacent buildings.”

Traffic on all nearby roads was chaotic for several hours as a result of the fire, dealing which spread into rush hour on the Friday before Christmas.

There were no civilian or firefighter injuries.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time and is under investigation.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Chilliwack fire crews dealt with a massive fire at Windsor Plywood on Vedder Road on Dec. 20, 2019 in the afternoon. The blaze destroyed the business, and was damaging and threatening adjacent buildings. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Chilliwack fire crews dealt with a massive fire at Windsor Plywood on Vedder Road on Dec. 20, 2019 in the afternoon. The blaze destroyed the business, and was damaging and threatening adjacent buildings. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Suspected car thief beanbagged by Abbotsford police for resisting arrest

‘It doesn’t break the skin usually, but it hurts so much you might as well be shot’

UFV food expert presents new book, Lost Feast

Dr. Lenore Newman reads from latest publication on Tuesday, Jan. 21

CHARTS: Home-building down in 2019 in Abbotsford, but still historically high

2019 saw construction wrap up on 1,000 homes, the second-highest total on record

5 to 10 cm of snow still coming to Fraser Valley: Environment Canada

Hard to say when the freezing rain will turn to regular rainfall, Environment Canada says

Abbotsford bank ATM robbery thwarted by woman standing her ground

Police arrest alleged known robber running down South Fraser wearing balaclava

VIDEO: Cold snap brings ideal conditions for Okanagan icewine

Take an inside look at how icewine is made

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Fraser Valley motorist drives up vehicle ramp and onto parked trailer on Chilliwack road

The incident happened after Chilliwack was handed another dump of snow Friday night

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

VIDEO: Newbie Vancouver Giants leads victory over Victoria 4-1 Friday

The G-Men play Saturday in Victoria before hosting Kamloops on home ice in Langley Sunday afternoon

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Most Read