Fire crews worked to extinguish a massive blaze that destroyed the Country Lumber warehouse filled with forklifts and related equipment on March 18.

Cause of warehouse fire unknown

Blaze at Country Lumber completely destroyed a warehouse. It took 80 firefighters to put out the flames and keep them from spreading.

 

Fire investigators say the cause of a massive blaze that destroyed a warehouse at Country Lumber on March 18 will likely never be known.

“The destruction of the fire consumed any evidence of what started that fire,” said Pat Walker, Langley Township assistant fire chief.

“We know the point of origin was inside, but its cause is undetermined.

“It could have been a number of things, like electrical or a hot piece of machinery, we really couldn’t speculate.”

The fire broke out just before midnight inside the Langley warehouse on Fraser Highway near 252 Street. It took more than 80 firefighters several hours to put out the blaze.

Country Lumber used the building to store propane-powered forklifts and backup material.

Some of the 14 to 15 forklifts exploded, said Walker. All of the equipment was destroyed.

Also inside were lifts of engineered lumber and hardy plank.

Losses from the fire amount to about $4.3 million.

The warehouse was constructed before building codes required sprinkler systems, and it is located in a part of Langley that does not have fire hydrants.

Walker said crews worked primarily to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading to other businesses in the area.

“They plan to rebuild and it will be a sprinklered building,” he said.

The lumber company has 25 employees. No one lost their jobs because of the fire, however. Instead the business set up portable offices for staff to work in.

Numerous businesses and community members  stepped in to help. Country Lumber remained open for business the day after the fire.

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