Janine Dollman has lived at Carroll Court apartment for three-and-a-half years. She will have to find a new place before April 1, the tentative date in which the building is being demolished.

VIDEO: Carroll Court resident anxious about impending demolition

After learning that her apartment is slated to be torn down on April 1, Janine Dollman is scrambling to find another place she can afford.

Cries for “help” startled Janine Dollman as she sat in her one bedroom apartment inside Carroll Court March 23.

She looked outside her balcony and saw plumes of smoke.

“So I go to my hallway, and about a foot down from the ceiling, you could see the black smoke,” Dollman related.

It wasn’t long before flames started rolling out of her neighbour’s door.

Dollman escaped the building with her cat still stuck inside.

Luckily, Dollman’s beloved tabby survived.

“When I got out, I started coughing. I had (the effects of) smoke inhalation, coughing up blood for the remainder of the week,” Dollman said.

By the time she was outside the 52-year-old complex in Langley City, Dollman could see flames shooting up to the top of the building from the second floor.

She thought her home of three-and-a-half years was gone.

The fire damage was extensive, destroying six units at Carroll Court, 5630 201A St.

After the incident, Dollman was put up in a hotel and returned to her apartment a week later.

On Dec. 5, Dollman, along with residents of Carroll Court and the neighbouring Merton Court, was informed that the two apartment buildings are slated for demolition, tentatively on April 1, 2017.

In a notice, property owner Linda Wu said insurance assessments over the past several months revealed the extensive extent and scope of the damages.

“Unfortunately,” Wu said in the notice, “this is beyond our means of repair.”

In the interim, Wu will continue to operate the two buildings until Feb. 28, since that is the last day of insurance coverage.

The City has received a demolition permit application, noted Gerald Minchuk, Langley City’s director of development services and economic development.

The news shocked Dollman.

“They kept telling us they were going to rebuild it, that it was going to be renovated,” Dollman said. “In fact, the fellow that lived on the bottom floor, he moved across the hall from me and he was waiting for them to rebuild so he could go back to his suite.”

Dollman thought it was a red flag when she saw property surveyors at the buildings.

“I was asking questions,” she said.

She had a “funny feeling that it was all about asbestos removal.”

“And I thought, if they do that they’d have to kick us all out,” Dollman said.

She didn’t expect the letter, “especially before Christmas.”

Now, she’s scrambling to find a place to live on a limited income. Dollman is on disability, at $983 a month, and she was paying $600 a month rent at Carroll Court, she told the Times.

“All bachelors in Langley seem to be at $800 (month),” Dollman said. “I suffer from a deadly allergy to sulphites so I can’t use the food bank. So that’s all my food money, basically, gone.”

Dollman isn’t happy with the way the information was communicated.

“I felt they led us all astray. I had kind of figured out what was going on but there were others who didn’t have a clue.”

She bristles at some of the comments made by some on social media about the kind of people who live in the two buildings.

“To me, we’re not tenants. This is the first place I’ve lived at that’s been almost like Melrose Place,” Dollman said. “It’s a community. I’ve made amazing friends here — best friends. There’s been bad stuff, but there’s been good stuff, too. You are going to find bad stuff everywhere you go.”

She continued, “We’re not low-class. I suffer from mental illness, plus multiple other things, but I used to work at CBC for 15 years.”

Concern for her future exacerbates the severe anxiety Dollman already suffers. “Both of my parents have passed, my sister doesn’t drive and she lives in Burnaby. That’s it.

“That’s all I have. I’m having a hard time with this.”

Just Posted

Langley’s 1 Fish 2 Fish celebrating 20 years

One of Langley City’s longest-running businesses set to mark milestone

Metro mayors to hike transit fares, property taxes to pay for transit projects

Next phase includes Broadway subway, Surrey LRT and replacement of the Pattullo Bridge

New community garden proposed in Yorkson

Residents invited to open house on Thursday, April 5

Truck slams into pole on Fraser Highway

Fraser Highway down to one lane at 208 Street Friday morning

Rhythmic gymnasts set for competition at Cloverdale Fairgrounds this weekend

Elegant, artistic sport a great way to build self-confidence, says coach

VIDEO: Climber ‘catches the sunrise’ over city atop B.C. crane

Police warn ‘rooftopping’ poses risk to climber, public and first responders

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Delta South MLA calls high-speed rail study a ‘crazy announcement’

‘You’d be better off to move to Seattle’ than to travel to Vancouver from the Lower Mainland

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

B.C.-based CEO charged with conspiring to sell unhackable phones to criminals

Vincent Ramos of Richmond, was arrested last week in Seattle in years-long undercover operation

B.C. artist featured on T.V. series highlighting Indigenous tattoo artistry

Skindigenous, a series on APTN TV, features international tattooing traditions including a Salmon Arm artist

Most Read