Birch apartment fire evacuees may not return until next week

The Langley City residents have been told they may be in hotels until next Tuesday.

Residents of the Birch apartment building in Langley City were told they might not be able to move in until Tuesday, April 18 at the earliest.

Resident Randy Powell lived one floor down and across the hall from the unit where a fatal fire broke out early Wednesday morning.

He and other residents met with a Langley City fire department official on Wednesday afternoon and were told about the earliest return date.

Their stays in a local hotel have been extended through to Tuesday, and they can return to the Lions-run housing complex for meals.

Some are being encouraged to move in temporarily with friends or family if their apartments aren’t inhabitable soon, said Powell.

“Not everybody’s got friends and family who can house you,” Powell said.

His closest relative is his mother, who is in extended care herself, he said.

Right now, Powell has no idea how much water damage there might be to his suite.

One person was killed in the fire. Their name has not yet been released.

On Wednesday afternoon, emergency officials were holding a meeting with residents from the affected building.