Two people were left with burns after attempting to put out a fire in a row of trees and shrubs in the Willowbrook Shopping Centre Wednesday afternoon.
The fire, in the southern parking lot near the exterior entrance to Winners, was reported just after 4:30 p.m.
Crews from both the Langley City and Township fire departments responded to the scene, along with police – tying up a significant number of resources.
“When we get a call where there’s a fire in close proximity to a building we respond to that call as if it was a structure fire,” explained Rory Thompson, fire chief with the City of Langley.
In total, five fire trucks and 17 firefighters responded to the scene.
“A lot of times, people, when they think of dry, forest fire-type conditions, they think of the interior of the province, but it’s extremely dry here in the Lower Mainland,” Thompson advised.
“Everyone really needs to be careful of disposing things like smoker’s material. This was a situation where the fire, because of the wind, took off quite quickly, spread across through the brush, set a tree on fire, and significantly damaging two vehicles and two people received burns.”
The injured individuals did not require treatment at a hospital, Thompson added.
Part of the shopping mall was evacuated as a precaution.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Thompson said they have not ruled out discarded smoking material.
The fire destroyed about five metres of the median where the greenery was planted.
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