During the afternoon commute, motorist from throughout Langley could see plumes of black smoke filling the otherwise blue skies over Langley late Friday afternoon.
The smoke came from a house fire near 216th Street and Fraser Highway in the historic Murrayville neighbourhood. The site of the firew was across the street from Langley Fundamental Elementary.
One house was completely destroyed and another, adjacent home also caught fire and was seriously damaged, if not destroyed as well.
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Township firefighters were called out just before 5 p.m., then further help was deployed from other firehalls. A total of six fire trucks were on scene, with emergency responders blocking the 21700-block of 50th Avenue while battling the flames.
None of the people living in the homes were injured, but GoFundMe sites set up by friends indicate that one family lost a cat and another cat suffered injuries and is in a veterinarian hospital recovering. As of Monday, one campaign had raised $47,000 for one family, and another had raised almost $19,000 for the other.
According to Township of Langley assistant fire chief Andy Hewitson, one firefighter had to be taken to hospital to be checked out because of heat concerns during the operation to douse the fire. Temperatures were in the 30s Celsisus as firefighters battled the blaze.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.