Quick response by the Langley fire department limited damage from an early morning blaze that scorched the entrance and cracked the window glass of the Dollars and Cents at 2021 Willowbrook Drive early Friday morning, Nov. 19.
A witness who called 911 and posted a video saw five fire department vehicles and two police units as well as a security guard at the scene.
Owner Salim Dhanani said it would have been worse if it wasn’t for the COVID-19 barriers installed at the store tills.
He said the fire started in a mixed garbage and recycling container out front and the heat from the flames caused the windows to blow out and the fire was beginning to creep inside by the time fire crews arrived.
They used their hoses to quickly extinguish the blaze, and while some water did get inside, the transparent coronavirus barriers turned out be good at blocking water as well, limiting the damage to a few tills and some inventory.
“We were lucky that we had COVID barriers,” Dhanani told the Langley Advance Times.
There was also some smoke damage.
Dhanani called the incident “shocking” and expressed his gratitude to the fire department for their quick response.
“We were very fortunate,” he commented.
A posting to the store’s Facebook page delivered “a huge thank you to the Langley Fire Department! You showed up early this morning at 1:20am, and saved us from something that could have been catastrophic.”
“We salute you, and we appreciate you!”
The store was able to reopen the same day, “due to (many) extremely hardworking individuals.
Thank you to our customers as well, for your patience and support at this time.”
An RCMP report said a witness reported seeing “homeless-looking people” leaving the scene about the time smoke was first spotted.
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