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VIDEO: Non-market housing project burns in Langley

Langley fire crews remained on scene Monday morning

The smell of smoke lingered in the air Monday morning, June 24, in the area of Langley Bypass and 56 Avenue following a fire that broke out late last night at Kinsmen Gardens. 

Langley RCMP and fire crews responded to a report of a structure fire just after 10 p.m. Sunday night, June 23. 

Kinsmen Gardens resident Troy Olson who lives next to the building that caught fire, and captured a video of firefighters battling the blaze, described a "scary" evening that started with flashing lights and screaming.

"We're on the Bypass [where] there's often flashing lights, so we didn't think too much of it, and then we heard a lot of screaming and yelling, so we decided to get up, and there was a little boy running door to door, banging on all the doors and all the buildings surrounding it, screaming 'fire, fire, fire.'"

Olson, his wife and their three children evacuated from their building.

"The heat was just so intense, you could feel it from the fields across the way, and it was very scary,  to say the least, because these buildings are fairly close together," Olson told the Langley Advance Times.

Olson said a resident of the burning building, who had mobility limitations, was carried out by another resident.

He praised the fire dept for doing an "amazing job" getting it out.

There were no reports of serious injuries.

In the aftermath, the building doesn't appear livable, Olson noted.

"When they [firefighters] were going through in the end with their flashlights, I could see, and the entire inside is just gone," Olson said.

All eight units of the building were affected in some way, said Langley City fire chief Scott Kennedy, but firefighters managed to contain the fire to one unit. The seven others suffered water and smoke damage. 

Crews were battling the fire for a couple hours, and continued to put out "hot spots" until about 3 a.m., said Kennedy.

Langley City firefighters were still on the scene at 7:30 a.m. Monday morning, some appearing to help affected residents of the complex collect their belongings. 

Kennedy said the investigation into the cause is ongioing, and affected residents are receiving support and are set up at a hotel. 

The fire was deemed not suspicious, said Cpl. Zynal Sharoom with Langley RCMP. 

Kinsmen Garden Estates is a 62-unit non-market housing complex, composed of two- three- and four-bedroom units, built in 1989. The property is owned by BC Housing and managed by the non-profit BC Kinsmen Housing Society.