Langley City firefighters battled a blaze at Merton Court Apartments early Wednesday morning (March 23).

Six units uninhabitable after ‘suspicious’ Langley City apartment fire

None of the displaced tenants of Carroll Court had insurance, says community’s emergency program co-ordinator

Most of the displaced residents at the Carroll Court Apartments are returning to their homes today (Wednesday) after a fire ripped through the building on March 23.

Six of the units, however, have been badly damaged, and those tenants — all of whom do not have insurance — will have to find alternative accommodations.

“It’s not easy — every individual has their own priorities on where they want to move, what they can afford and working priorities,” said Ginger Sherlock, emergency program co-ordinator for the City and Township of Langley.

Organizations such as BC Housing, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army have been notified, Sherlock said, but it is up to individuals to connect with them if they need assistance.

Both Carroll Court and the adjacent Merton Court are known as some of the cheapest places to rent in Greater Vancouver, with average rates beginning around $650 per month.

Only one renter in the entire building had insurance, and their unit was not affected, Sherlock said.

She encourages all renters to — at the minimum— get contents insurance. In some place like California, insurance is actually required by law, she said.

“It’s not that expensive, but when you lose everything and are starting from scratch it’s worth the $25 or $30 per month,” she said.

The City of Langley Fire department estimates that in 75 per cent of rental fires, the tenants have no coverage.

According to a recent census estimate, the City has 3,960 rental units, making up 35 per cent of its total housing stock.

That is more rental units per capita than most Lower Mainland municipalities (Only Vancouver, New Westminster and North Vancouver City have higher percentages).

According to Statistics Canada, less than half the renters in the country are covered by renter’s insurance, also known as tenant’s or contents insurance.

That is way below home owners, 97 per cent of whom have coverage.

Going without insurance also leaves renters vulnerable to lawsuits if they are found legally responsible for causing a fire that damages other suites, even if the landlord is insured.

Although the cause of the blaze has not been determined, investigators are describing the early morning fire at 5630 201A St. as suspicious.

– with files from Dan Ferguson

Just Posted

Langley hosting high-flying fun at annual gymnastics tournament

Action runs Friday through Sunday at the Langley Events Centre fieldhouse.

BREAKING: Plecas won’t run in next election if legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Guatemala mission offers hope, health

Peninsula team to visit remote villages, build a home, in Piedra Blanca

Annual Aldergrove Fair announces 2019 theme: ‘Aldy on the Moon’

The fair is gathering space memorabilia as well as some of the people involved in the space program.

Guitar festival host performs in upcoming show

Langley’s Don Hlus is hosting and performing in the Fraser Valley Guitar Festival on Feb. 23.

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Prominent B.C. realtor says he doesn’t know how child porn got on his computer

Closing arguments heard in Ian Meissner’s Chilliwack trial for accessing, possessing child porn

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Avalanche control planned tomorrow on Highway 1

The highway will be closed in the morning east of Revelstoke

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Mayors approve SkyTrain extension to UBC

Next step is a business plan and public consultation

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Most Read