A series of explosions and fires rocked a North Langley trucking company, sending one man to hospital with burns and causing an evacuation Tuesday afternoon.
One employee was injured in the explosions and fire. He was rushed to hospital by Air Ambulance.
Langley Township assistant fire chief Bruce Ferguson said he was relieved that more people were not hurt in the fire that consumed much of a building.
"It definitely had the potential for being a lot worse than that," he said.
One, possibly two tanker trucks exploded, followed by further explosions of shop supplies, likely including acetylene tanks and tires.
A trailer loaded with isopropyl alcohol was near the site, but the fire didn't spread far enough to reach it.
The 911 call came in at just after 2 p.m., alerting firefighters to an explosion at Ken Johnson Trucking Ltd in the 19800 block of Telegraph Trail.
Other explosions, caused by the tires and acetylene tanks, occurred as firefighters arrived at the scene and began setting up.
From the start, there was a concern that the fire was chemical in nature, said Cpl. Holly Marks of the Langley RCMP.
Ken Johnson Trucking hauls chemicals, lubricating oils, and special waste, according to the company's website.
It's unclear what was in the trucks that exploded.
Police and fire crews immediately began evacuating the area, getting employees out of businesses as far west as 192nd Street in Surrey.
Langley Township firefighters battled the blaze, with help from Surrey and Langley City fire crews.
About seven fire crews were on hand at one point to extinguish the fire.
Power was knocked out as several transformers blew, said Marks.
Langley RCMP and Port Mann Traffic Services were there to control the scene, with B.C. Ambulance providing medical aid, said Marks.
The Golden Ears Bridge was shut down, as were rail lines in the area, and multiple roads, said Marks. Traffic in the area suffered some snarls as drivers were diverted away from the bridge and off of parts of 96th Avenue and surrounding streets.
The company sent out a letter of thanks Wednesday to everyone who responded to help:
"We wish to extend our deepest thanks to everyone who came to our aid after yesterday's horrific event. To the firefighters and local emergency responders, you are second to none. We are grateful for the support and assistance from our community, especially our immediate neighbours.
"You helped save a terrible thing from becoming much worse. From helping with traffic control, supplying water, personal cellphones, opening your businesses and your hearts to our staff, and anything else that was required at our time of need, you went the extra mile," said the letter.
"We would like to thank you once again from our management team, office staff, drivers, and mechanics."
WorkSafe BC and Transport Canada both arrived to look over the scene as the fire was put out, but WorkSafe will not be doing an investigation.
Spokesperson Donna Freeman said the trucking firm is federally regulated, and the matter has been turned over to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
The building destroyed by the fire cost about $1 million, according to Ferguson. The exact cause remains unknown so far.
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