It’s not the news around one hundred White Rock residents whose apartment complex went up in flames Sunday want to hear.
It will be a long time before they can return home, possibly as long as two years.
Firefighters are taking small lists of valuables, to see if they can retrieve them for residents.
Fire Chief Phil Lemire is crediting residents for a quick exit after yesterday’s fire, with the only injury a broken leg.
It’s an emotional situation for these people who have lost everything.
Residents like Bob Jack say it’s not the worst-case scenario, because everyone, including pets, made it out okay. But it’s not good.
“It could take months to get the building back in shape, and all the insurance, it could be two years they are telling us, so it’s going to be a real strain.”
Jack says he is lucky, he has insurance and he and his wife will look at this like a new adventure.
Others, not so much.
One couple we spoke to just moved in two weeks ago and had yet to buy insurance.
“The fire crews are going through, and we’re hoping to get out just essential things like car keys, wallets.”
Wayne Bratton and Stacy Buhr say they now have to accept the fact everything they owned is likely gone.
“Last time we saw the building yesterday they were shooting water right into our suite, like, in the windows, so, we’re pretty sure that everything’s a write off. We’re going to go down and see if we can get our car keys and wallets and stuff… We ran out in robes.”
They are lucky, though.
Buhr says they stayed with family last night and her employer is putting them up in a furnished suite for a month.
Victim Services is on hand with donations like the bare essentials, toiletries, water and clothing to help the victims get through the next little while.
If you want to donate to help the victims, you are being asked to contact the city of White Rock.
A boil-water advisory remains posted for White Rock residents because so much water was used fighting the fire that reservoir levels fell dramatically, possibly causing negative pressure in the water lines and drawing in contaminants. Officials have still not said what caused the blaze.