White Rock fire

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bertvorgon
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White Rock fire

Postby bertvorgon » 16 May 2016 07:55

Yesterday morning, at 5:00 AM I was woken by sirens...then more sirens...then even more sirens, just up the hill from me.

That is not the norm for sleepy old White Rock so I knew something big was going on. After breakfast I wandered up the hill, to be greeted by a major fire at 5 Corners, which is at the end of the main drag in White Rock. What has happened is that a new, 3 story condo that was being built, still ALL WOOD, had some sort of fire at the back of it. This escalated to the condo itself, which turned into a major inferno. As this raged, the older condo building which was maybe 50 feet away, also then ignited.

Having been through a major fire myself in my younger years, I know how quickly it can spread and how destructive it will be. The heat was beyond intense and as I watched, the back of the older condo, three stories, was well on fire at the back. The White Rock and then a Surrey crew had their huge water cannon cranes out, pouring tons of water on it. It just kept going! Soon, I could see that it was creeping along the inside of the flat, torch on roofing, defying the water cannons and still doing major structural damage underneath.

It just kept going, occasionally getting shot of oxygen, and erupting into flames, where it had breached the roof. More water was directed on that, to no avail. The smoke was horrendous for both the downwind fighters and the people in the condos across the street. I wonder what it will be like for them today? The power and gas were then cut. They got a fire crew up on the roof of the Star of the Sea church hall, to try to keep it from catching fire ( it did not) and also let them hose water into the soffets on that side. I would see licks of flame, seeing that it was just creeping inside the rook, just eating the buildings top story.

The newer condo was now a towering inferno, all the wood just a blowtorch. I did a hot lap around the perimeter, absolutely amazed at the amount of water, through 4" lines, was pouring into/into that building, crazy. I could not help think that the two floors below are now sogged out and that the business's on the ground floor are in major trouble.

Long story short, they fought that damn thing for 13 - 14 hours before getting it under some sort of control. The top story is totally destroyed, at the point I left, and with the amount of water and other structural issues I would say the building is DONE!!! They used so much water draining the White Rock system, which is on it's own well, that we now have a boil water advisory, due to stirring up the bottom of the cisterns.

So destructive, I feel for the people who now have to go through all the insurance hoops, and then look for new housing, in our insane housing market now. Those on the top floor lost everything and the other floor below will all be total losses on most personal goods.
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"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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Byron510
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Re: White Rock fire

Postby Byron510 » 16 May 2016 09:28

About 5 years ago I watched a 4 or 5 story condo block go up in flames just behind Royal Columbia Hospital. Same deal - all wood construction, building was 80% complete. Even though firefighters and piles of equipment were on the scene in short order, they couldn't save that building. It was like it was soaked in gasoline. Burned to the ground in 8 hours.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-c ... x-1.647165

After watching this one go up for a few hours, my mind was set that I would never again live in a wooden structure over 3 stories. Concrete might no survive fire very well, but it's an excellent fire stop!

Now back to our regular Datsun programming :-)

Byron
Love people and use things,
because the opposite never works.

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gooned
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Re: White Rock fire

Postby gooned » 16 May 2016 18:29

I was going to bug you for not inviting us to the weeny roast...but alas no joking matter. I think a major fire is one of the worst things to happen to a family's residence, one of the senior guys at work lost his house awhile back and even though funding a rebuild isn't an issue for him the personal loss of ALL belongings is devastating.

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bertvorgon
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Re: White Rock fire

Postby bertvorgon » 28 May 2016 12:54

As we kind of thought, this turns out to be arson on the first building to be on fire. It will be interesting to see if this turns out to be some sort of insurance deal. Considering how fast things get constructed in this crazy market right now, this building was taking way too long to get finished in my opinion...which says where was the money?
"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer


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